Europhile and pro-migrant European Parliament President Martin Schulz could be on track to become Germany’s foreign minister.
The current president of the German Federal Republic, Joachim Guack, who was booed by crowds earlier this year due to his pro-migrant stance, has decided not to seek a second five-year term.
If current Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is able to become the preferred candidate the space in the foreign ministry would need to be filled quickly. Given that the choice for successor falls to Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats (SPD), pro-migrant Schulz has come to the forefront, reports Kurier.
Unlike in the U.S., Austria, or France, the president of the German republic is not elected by the people but appointed by the parliament. Over the weekend the leaders of the coalition parties, Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union (CSU), and Mr. Gabriel of the SPD, met to discuss the appointment but a consensus could not be reached.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier is one of the most popular politicians in Germany and is also known for his fiery rhetoric against U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump during the American presidential campaign, whom he called a “hate preacher”.
Schulz, whose term as European Parliament president comes to an end this year, is a noted Europhile who has spent most of the year trying to keep the EU together.
It has been floated that Mr. Schulz should run for leader of the SPD and a cabinet position may provide a path forward. Furthermore, right-wing parties in the European Parliament have said that it would be a “declaration of war” should Shultz not honour his agreement to step back from his position in January 2017.
German foreign policy under Schulz could turn even more pro-migrant. Speaking to the Italian media in May in the wake of anti-mass migration Austrian Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer’s first round election win, Schulz said that a “silent majority” in Europe oppose the concept of national borders.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org