Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined her objectives Thursday for Germany’s forthcoming six-month presidency of the European Union, saying a more global role and enhanced international governance are a way forward for the troubled bloc.
“The dramatic global consequences of the (coronavirus) pandemic demand that Europe takes on more global responsibility,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
“At this time, the world needs Europe’s strong voice for the protection of human dignity, democracy and freedom,” she added, Reuters reports.
As the the continued advance of the Chinese coronavirus strickens large parts of the globe, Merkel said it is a teaching moment for the world on how how to challenge “authoritarians” who seek to use it to their advantage.
“They want to undermine the rule of law. They want to harm people’s dignity. They want to undermine people’s human rights and civil rights,” she continued.
In particular, Merkel claimed the spreading of virus disinformation represented a challenge for Europe even as it has struggled to find any unified voice on the matter:
Le Pen: The EU Was the First Casualty of Coronavirus https://t.co/jrItlGWM3w
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 26, 2020
“This is something we need to stand up against, not just here,” said Merkel in the speech to the Bundestag.
This is not the first time Merkel has touted an E.U. global role.
As Breitbart News reported, last month she backed the political union to deliver guidance on handling the Chinese coronavirus pandemic based on what she claimed was the manifest evidence of the organization’s achievements.
Her simple solution remains: more E.U. in more places more often.
Merkel spoke ahead of an E.U. summit Friday that was expected to focus on settling the bloc’s budget in the years to come, as well as the bloc’s reconstruction program for the economy emerging from the pandemic.
The presidency of the Council of the European Union passes among member states on a rotating basis and lasts for a six-month period, with Germany taking the role from July 1 until the end of the year.