Sunday’s German elections saw the worst result for the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) since 1949. The status quo no longer has the political authority to reform the status quo. Germany has shown it is less exceptional than anyone thought. The political pendulum between the center-right is in crisis in Berlin as it is elsewhere.

Sunday’s German elections saw the worst result for the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) since 1949.

The status quo no longer has the political authority to reform the status quo. Germany has shown it is less exceptional than anyone thought. The political pendulum between the center-right is in crisis in Berlin as it is elsewhere. And that has implications for the Franco-German axis, as the CDU can no longer be regarded as the motor of European integration.

The question now is whether Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron can push through with their plan for the Eurozone’s political integration. The recent rejuvenation of the Franco-German axis has been founded on an agreement between the two leaders for “more Europe.”

“More Europe” for Macron means an independent budget and a finance minister for the Eurozone, public investment, a banking union, and new crisis management instruments. The primary tool envisaged is the conversion of the European Stability Mechanism into a monetary fund modeled after the IMF.

However, Angela Merkel emerges weaker from Sunday’s elections. If she is forced into a Jamaica coalition with the so-called “liberal” Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green party, she may not be able to implement her agreement with Macron.

Last week, FDP’s leader Christian Lindner said he would not join a cabinet in which he did not control the ministry of finance. Moreover, drew a red line in-between the Franco-German axis, telling Welt am Sonntag that FDP will not allow any form of social transfer or debt mutualization on a European level, be it in the form of a Eurozone budget or a banking union.

Given Macron’s own falling popularity, the ability of the French President to push Chancellor Merkel to jeopardize the unity of her party and the stability of her emerging coalition is questionable. The political integration of the Eurozone is less likely on Monday than it was on Sunday.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eurozones-political-integration-now-less-likely/

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