Voltaire Network

Urgent: A New Europe. Ayrault and Steinmeier prepare the way

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Taking up again Winston Churchill’s Plan for Europe, the French and German Ministers for Foreign affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have conceived a post-Brexit plan for a “New Europe”.

According to the document [1], this plan has three big themes:
- European security, which takes up the theme of the European Community of Defense (ECD), rejected in 1950;
- Asylum and migration policy; and
- Growth and the euro.

The ministers call for foreign and defense polices to be combined. This implies common ambassadors and a common army. They do not specifically address the future of France’s seat in the Security Council, nor the position of a French nuclear force. In this chapter, they announce a common initiative for “stabilizing, developing and reconstructing” Syria. To fight against terrorism, they propose to establish European coordination for information services and harmonizing criminal laws.

The ministers call to strengthen their common surveillance of European borders. Without questioning the definition of “refugees”, they declare that they will have all the rights that protected them under the Geneva Convention. Conceding different histories, they decide to share their experiences on this subject.

To ensure the euro works well, the ministers call to harmonize fiscal policies and for a strict convergence of national budgets. They specify the establishment of a new European assembly charged with controlling monetary policy. This would be composed of European MPs in the Eurozone and MPs of national parliaments.

When she was asked about this document, Chancellor Merkel declared that it did not reflect the views of ministers.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

[1] “A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties”, by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Frank-Walter Steinmeier , Voltaire Network, 27 June 2016.

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