November 4, 2014
I don’t know how to say it in English, but a French-speaking friend of mine calls it L’Europe germano-allemande. For several decades we were used to the French-German tandem, but now we have Germany all over the place.
The real leaders of the two big political families are Germans – Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz. I am the last one to believe that the official leaders, like Manfred Weber (German as well) or Gianni Pittella hold the real power in EPP and S&D.
Behind the Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker there is Germany and behind the Council President Donald Tusk there is Germany again. I am one of those who strongly believe that Tusk’s appointment is a long-planned Berlin project.
When important inter-institutional decisions need to be taken, the German spokesperson of Juncker calls the German Secretary General of the European Parliament. Or one “spitzenkandidat” calls the other. Martin Selmayr and Klaus Welle played ball very well over the Commissioners’ hearings, and that’s why the Juncker team was appointed on time, for the first time since 1994 when the system of hearings was introduced. How did they do it? One example is by agreeing the rules –like the short answers which do not allow the commissioners-designate to get into big trouble.
German players, German arbiters. German football is excellent, but German Christian democrats playing ball with German Social Democrats at all major derbies on the European football field, does it make much sense? Even if here or there, there is a Polish player?
My short forecast is that the football hooligans with Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain and Le Front National in France in the forefront, will steal the show at some point soon. Affaire à suivre.