“Europe is a central task for Germany”

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Government statement by the Federal Chancellor in the run-up to the European Council and the NATO summit “Europe is a central task for Germany”

“We have clear priorities,” said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in his government statement on the 2025 budget, “which are security, cohesion and growth.” He also addressed the challenges at European and international levels.

Federal Chancellor Scholz at the lectern in the Bundestag.

Renewing confidence in Germany and Europe was important, said Scholz in his government statement in the German Bundestag.

Photo: Federal Government/Kira Hofmann

Federal Chancellor Scholz outlined the most important tasks of European and international policy in his government statement to the German Bundestag in the run-up to the European Council and the NATO summit.

The Federal Chancellor cut to the chase right at the start of his speech: “We cannot afford to procrastinate in these difficult times,” he said, adding that security and peace were still the priority. This, he said, was about the rapid implementation of the Common European Asylum System in national law. Europe, he added, continues to stand with Ukraine and financial, military, and humanitarian aid would prevent the country from being subjugated. The Federal Chancellor also addressed the current budget negotiations in his statement.

This is what the Federal Chancellor had to say about...

... the 2025 budget

In addition to the international aspects, Scholz announced that a draft budget for 2025 would be presented next month. The Federal Chancellor defined the priorities of the draft budget as internal and external security, social justice in terms of health, pensions, and retirement, and increased impetus for growth. Germany, he said, would defend its position as the third largest economy in the world, which is why the Federal Government would be continuing its investment offensive. “All of these things are essential for achieving the desired forward momentum,” said Scholz.

... defence partnerships

The European pillar of NATO, Scholz said on Wednesday, would be strengthened going forward, adding that the joint expenditure for defence had increased. A total of 21 European countries, he said, were currently joining forces to strengthen our joint air defence based on the European Sky Shield Initiative and the production of weapons, ammunition, and military goods would be focussed on the European partner countries. Scholz thanked the European partners and US President Biden for the close transatlantic cooperation.

... trade and economy

Going forward, said Scholz, Europe must become more economically competitive and increase growth. The urgently needed Capital Markets Union, he explained, was designed to accelerate investment in companies based in Europe. The Federal Chancellor advocated free trade between the EU and the rest of the world, in relation to which he highlighted continuing negotiations with China with a view to avoiding further customs barriers in the electromobility sector. This, he said, was about good jobs in a strong European economy. “Europe is a central task for Germany,” said Scholz.

... personnel

Federal Chancellor Scholz also praised the agreement in principle on the personnel package for the top EU posts in his government statement. It has been proposed that Ursula von der Leyen should serve a second term as Commission President. The former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, is to become the new President of the European Council and Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, is to become the new High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “In my view, these are good appointments and clear decisions for a prosperous European future,” said Scholz. He also congratulated Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on his nomination as Secretary General of NATO.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke about the current security situation in Germany in his government statement in early June 2024.