Angela Merkel (65, CDU) meets Emmanuel Macron (41) in Berlin for dinner today. The conversation could be serious.
Merkel is in favor of more European involvement in NATO. European members of NATO must "take more responsibility in the future," she said in her weekly podcast released Sunday. The Bundeswehr is still in demand, not only in conflict regions. For this they need the "appropriate financial resources".
The Chancellor referred to the permanent structured cooperation in European security policy (Pesco). In the future, weapons systems would also be jointly developed at European level, she announced. These include the project of a fighter aircraft and the development of a battle tank. "Germany and France are at the forefront of development here," emphasized Merkel.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) emphasized in a guest contribution for the "Spiegel": "For Germany it is clear: It would be a mistake if we undermined NATO. Without the United States, neither Germany nor Europe will be able to effectively protect themselves. "
Macron calls Nato "brain dead"
Macron referred to them as "brain dead" in an interview with British magazine The Economist. Merkel called her reaction "indispensable for us". Maas joined the criticism on Sunday: "It would be a mistake if we undermined NATO."
In doing so, Merkel and Maas Macron's call for a strengthening of European defense capability basically already supports this: "That is why together with France we are working hard to build a Europe that cooperates much more closely in security policy," writes the Foreign Minister.
Advance of AKK
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (57, CDU) also demanded a new role for Germany in defense policy.
▶ ︎ It would be necessary to have the courage to assume a "role of creative power" and the willingness to "exploit the spectrum of military means, if necessary, together with our allies and partners," explained AKK to the junior executives of the Bundeswehr in Munich. She proposes a national security council.
The proposal of a Security Council has been discussed for years. In January, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) highlighted the opportunities for such a body. Angela Merkel's withdrawal from politics gives her the opportunity to adapt the security architecture to changing interests and the threat situation. In Germany, foreign policy is almost exclusively in the hands of the Foreign Minister.