As the EU looks to resolve its long-term economic issues, Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German politicians have emerged as the key figures driving EU policy. Many expect Merkel, after having won her third term, to assume even more responsibility in reforming the Eurozone economy. Der Spiegel provides us with a German take on the matter:
This has prompted the chancellor to prepare a European reform offensive, and she already knows how to achieve her goal. Together with her likely new coalition partners, the SPD, she now intends to tackle more social issues with her European policy. There is talk of programs to address issues ranging from youth unemployment to tax evasion, and of the creation of a separate euro-zone budget to promote growth. In return, Brussels would receive more rights and thus greater control over the fiscal and economic policies of member states. Merkel intends to carry on with her controversial doctrine of demanding reforms in exchange for money, albeit with a Social Democratic—i.e. progressive—tint. […]She has already set her sights on who will be her most important ally in this project: European Parliament President Martin Schulz. Schulz who is a member of the SPD, is now carrying out coalition negotiations on European policy with an eye to both SPD interests and his next career move. First, Schulz wants to become the socialists’ top candidate in the European elections next May. And if he secures enough votes, he plans to seek the powerful position of European Commission president.
Schulz is a likely candidate to lead the European Commission, Merkel is the leader of the most powerful country in Europe, and both leaders are countrymen and have a close, respectful relationship despite coming from different political parties. As a result, Germany is poised to wield even more influence than usual over the shape of the EU in the coming years. Read the whole thing here.[Angela Merkel image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]