The new leader of the Christian Democratic party (CDU) has made her clearest statement yet that she is now setting policy in Germany’s ruling party by penning a lengthy intervention on Emmanuel Macron’s calls for major EU reforms.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took to the pages of Welt am Sonntag on Sunday to address the French President’s manifesto for a new EU, which was published by newspapers across the continent last week.
The article, titled “Getting Europe right this time”, praised Mr Macron for adding urgency to the debate on Europe’s future.
Faced with threats including international trade wars and aggressive Russian foreign policy, “there can only be one answer: our Europe needs to become stronger,” Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer wrote.
At the same time, she set out clear red lines that Germany would not be prepared to cross were she to become Chancellor.
“European centralism, the pooling of debts, a Europeanisation of social systems and the minimum wage would be the wrong way to go,” she stated, rebuffing Macron’s call for a European minimum wage.
Until recently Germans would have expected long-time Chancellor Angela Merkel to respond to Paris with a German vision for the future of Europe.
But the Chancellor has taken a notably lower profile in public debate since Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer took over as CDU leader in December.