The successor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision of the European Union (EU), rejecting a more centralised EU.
The Christian Democratic Union leader, known by her initials AKK in Germany given her tongue-twister name, presented her own vision of the future of the European Union which differs greatly from the proposal of President Macron and would see increased cooperation but not down the path of an EU superstate Die Welt reports.
“Europe needs a strategy to promote convergence, which intelligently links national and European approaches,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said and added support for an “EU innovation budget” to fund research and technological development.
Marking a major shift to the right, the CDU leader advocated for a strong EU external border saying, “Our sense of community and security in Europe needs secure external borders.”
“Where the external border cannot be protected by national means alone, Frontex must be quickly set up and used as operational border police,” she added.
Macron Attacks Brexit, Calls for ‘European Federalism’ in Pre-Election War Cry https://t.co/b3K6PnREDu
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On the subject of mass migration and integration, she singled out sections of the Islamic community saying that there was a problem with groups who had beliefs that were “incompatible with our ideas of an open society.”
The fact that EU officials receive a tax-free income was also a source of criticism for Kramp-Karrenbauer who advocated that they should be taxed and that the EU Parliament should only meet in Brussels.
While she rejected Macron’s proposal for a European minimum wage, Kramp-Karrenbauer was in favour of the idea of a European Security Council which could also include the UK.
The reply to Macron by the CDU leader marks a distinct change from the close relationship enjoyed between the French President and the current German Chancellor Angela Merkel who signed a “twinning” treaty earlier this year to increase cooperation between their two countries, and who have generally marched in lock-step on the subject of European integration since Macron took office.