The Strategist

Germany aims to lead next European Commission

08/24/2018 - 15:31

Elections and appointments of all kinds are approaching in the united Europe, and so the next year will be hot in the political sense. Analysts expect a keen struggle for seats in the European Parliament and for leadership in all-European organizations. Any member of the European Union can apply for them, but only European heavyweights have real chances.

The German press writes that the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has changed her mind about putting her associate in the chair of the President of the European Central Bank. Now, Berlin is aiming at a more important post. The Chancellor wants a German representative to head the EU's chief executive body, the European Commission.

"Merkel's main goal is not the ECB, but the European Commission," Handelsblatt Daily reported.

The German leader considers the post of the head of the EC more important in terms of policy than the post of the head of the ECB.

The candidate from Germany for the presidency of the ECB is President of the main German bank Bundesbank Jens Weidmann. However, many believe that he has compromised himself and significantly reduced his chances of being elected by repeated criticism of the ECB and its policies. Weidmann never concealed a critical attitude towards the current ECB head, Mario Draghi. In particular, he did not like the fact that Draghi solved problems of the Southern Europe, which is stuck in debts, at the expence of the continent’s first economy, Germany. Weidmann is also skeptical of the ECB's tactics for ultra-low interest rates and huge bond purchases. In March 2018, he urged the ECB to prepare for a new recession in the euro zone, despite the fact that things are going very well in it now.

In 2019, several important posts of the European Union will have new people. The position of the President of the European Commission, which is now occupied by the Luxembourger Jean-Claude Juncker, is, beyond any doubts, is the tastiest bit. In recent weeks, the number of rumors about the upcoming elections and appointments has increased dramatically. Michel Barnier, who heads the delegation of the European Union at the Brexit talks with London, is most often mentioned among the contenders for the post of the head of the EC.

Handelsblatt writes that Berlin, too, consider several candidates for the high office, including the Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier and the head of the defense ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen.