Chancellor Scholz blocks von der Leyen | EUROtoday

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Lhe European Commission was initially as a result of current a written report on financing choices to strengthen the European protection business on the European Council which opens in Brussels this Thursday June 27. Then the report was a letter. And lastly, it was blocked on the final minute…

“President von der Leyen will finally make an oral presentation on the subject,” confides a European diplomat. Germany vetoed sending a written letter to the European Council. » This state of affairs would mirror dissensions throughout the German authorities. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is alleged to be in disagreement together with his Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, on the query of financing protection by a “common European loan”. An choice supported by Emmanuel Macron's France. The liberal Christian Lindner (FDP), identified for his orthodox positions on budgetary issues, would fiercely oppose this concept.

Will the German coalition survive the summer time?

According to our sources on the Bundestag, the German coalition in energy will expertise a second of reality this summer time, when the Scholz authorities should assemble the 2025 funds. The train, already tough in abnormal instances, is changing into an inextricable puzzle as a result of an extra constraint: it’s needed to use the case regulation of the Court of Karlsruhe which annulled the second amending finance regulation. No flexibility is feasible relating to the precept of the debt brake.

The second amending finance regulation involved 60 billion euros in favor of the local weather (assist for the alternative of outdated oil and gasoline heating methods). The Greens consider that making use of the rulings of the Karlsruhe Court to the letter would result in catastrophe and strategic nonsense when it comes to future investments. In distinction, the liberal Lindner intends to depend on the Constitutional Court to tighten the purse strings. Between the 2, Olaf Scholz senses the second of an implosion of his majority coming… one yr earlier than the overall elections of September 2024.

Wait for the brand new Commission

Officially, President von der Leyen would have judged that the state of affairs was not ripe and that there have been not sufficient tasks with excessive European added worth on the desk. “We prefer to wait to see what the Member States really want to do together before formulating a proposal,” they are saying within the higher ranges of the Commission. The two explanations usually are not utterly mutually unique. Furthermore, it isn’t incongruous, on a topic as heavy and delicate as protection, to attend for the brand new Commission to be shaped within the fall.

In any case, this intra-German controversy illustrates the challenges the EU faces in strengthening its frequent defence. “The debate is not only about technical means, but also about political will and financial solidarity between member states,” says a diplomatic supply.

Mark Rutte, from The Hague to NATO

Despite these tensions, leaders ought to have an preliminary trade on the topic and mandate the Commission to deepen its work within the coming months. “It is crucial that we move forward on this issue, we insist, on the side of Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, for whom this will be the last European Council before taking office as Secretary General of NATO . Europe's security cannot wait until we have resolved all our internal differences. »

Two visions clash: an approach consisting of simply injecting more European money into defense, and a structural approach aimed at fundamentally reforming the European defense industry and market.

The more structural approach of the Dutch

The Netherlands is spearheading this second option. “We can no longer be satisfied with half-measures,” they say in The Hague. “The geopolitical situation demands a real increase in the power of European defence. This requires structural reforms, not just money.”

The Dutch position is structured around several concrete proposals. It aims to improve the integration of the internal defense market, which is still too fragmented, and to encourage group purchases between European countries to achieve economies of scale. The Netherlands also wants to review the so-called ESG (environmental, social and governance) rules applied to the defense sector, which currently slow down investments, and facilitate the defense industry's access to financing from the European Bank. investment. Finally, the Dutch call for encouraging all Member States to devote 2% of their GDP to defense, in accordance with commitments made within NATO. Which would bring an additional 60 to 70 billion euros to this sector.

A European anti-missile shield?

But what does European defense really need? The matter is not so clear. Emmanuel Macron, during his speech at Sorbonne 2 in April, had cautiously opened up avenues. “Europe must know how to defend what is dear to it, with its allies, whenever they are ready to do so alongside us, and alone, if necessary,” stated the president. Do we’d like an anti-missile defend for that? Maybe. Is it by rising our protection capabilities? And which of them? Without a doubt. Is this sufficient towards Russian missiles? We must work on this. »

He additionally evoked, in a cryptic method, the position of French nuclear deterrence. “Nuclear deterrence is in fact at the heart of the French defense strategy, it is therefore in essence an essential element in the defense of the European continent,” he argued. It is due to this credible protection that we can construct the safety ensures that each one our companions anticipate, all through Europe, and which can even be supposed to construct the frequent safety framework. »

EU indicators 'safety commitments' with Ukraine

On the event of this European summit, Volodymyr Zelensky will probably be bodily current to signal “EU security commitments towards Ukraine”. This is the belief of an initiative launched a yr in the past. The textual content goals to formalize long-term European assist for Ukraine in areas akin to cybersecurity, mine clearance or the coaching of Ukrainian safety forces. These commitments are thought-about essential and signify a powerful sign despatched to Russia. The settlement was just lately accredited at Coreper (Committee of Permanent Representatives) degree, with out objection from Viktor Orban's Hungary.