German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

For Chancellor Angela Merkel the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the  Franco-German friendship “Elysée Treaty” kicked off with a lot of questions and even more visitors. Along with French President François Hollande she took part in a discussion at the Federal Chancellery with some 200 young people from Germany and France. (German Federal Government’s photo gallery)

For Chancellor Angela Merkel the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Franco-German “Elysée Treaty” kicked off with a lot of questions and even more visitors. Along with French President François Hollande she took part in a discussion at the Federal Chancellery with some 200 young people from Germany and France. (German Federal Government’s photo gallery)

The defeat in the Lower Saxony election of the German governing coalition led by Angela Merkel’s CDU and comprising as a junior partner the pro-business party of Free Democrats (FDP), may change the political landscape in the entire European Union. It has already prompted Philipp Rösler to offer his resignation from the leadership of FDP, which was not accepted by the Party.

He is currently Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and Deputy Federal Chancellor in the government and has served as Minister for Economics in Lower Saxony. Rösler also was General Secretary of the FDP in Lower Saxony. Probably that’s why he had at least to offer his resignation from the party’s leadership because he was personally involved in this defeat.

It’s not the first time

In any case public opinion polls are a disappointment for the CDU-FDP coalition. The junior partner is reported to gain only 2% of the federal vote, a percentage that keeps the Free Democrats out of the Bundestag, and may cost Merkel her third term as Chancellor. German political analysts are unanimous that the defeat in Lower Saxony is to be blamed entirely on FDP. However this is not the only defeat for the governing coalition in regional elections. Over the past years the CDU-FDP partners lost key elections in Rhineland, North Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg.

According to the final results in Lower Saxony the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens wan 33% and 14% of the votes respectively in the 8 million people federal state and got 69 sits in the region’s Parliament. CDU and the FDP wan 36% and 9.9% of the votes and 68 sits. The result changes also the balance in the upper House, the Bundesrat, where the SPD and the Greens may block now the legislative initiatives of the government.

After the defeat Merkel tried to defuse the pressure and said that, “we are not yet in a pre-electoral period for the 22 September federal election”, and she added, “we are working now on the employment front so as it stays at its present levels or possible gets better”. Obviously a lot will depend on that on 22 September.

As narrow as it may be the win of Social Democrats and the Greens, this development crates dark spots on the prospects of Merkel winning a third term in the federal Chancellery. After all those defeats in federal state elections, Merkel and the CDU-FDP coalition are not anymore the unquestionable champions of the September general election in Germany.

What if?

If this is the case what is going to happen during the next eight months? What if Merkel ceases to be the charismatic leader she was over the many past difficult years? She saved the euro and led Germany, the Eurozone and the entire EU to a tighter entity. She also convinced almost everybody to concede more national sovereignty and forge new political bonds, some things that Britain detests.

Can now Merkel’s Germany continue being the unquestionable leader of Eurozone? What about Britain’s new initiative to redefine its relations with the European Union? Is Berlin able to block London’s demands for less Union? Will Brussels continue to give special weight to Berlin’s plans? What if the SPD-Greens coalition wins the next election and change Berlin’s strategy towards the European Union?

Of course all those questions will be answered in practice during the next few months, but political analysts have already started to gather data. It is even probable that Merkel itself might avoid until next September to push things to limits on issues that may wait for a later solution. However in avoiding testing her political abilities Merkel might let the EU freeze for the next eight months and thus give London more room for manoeuvres.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief announces progress on committee to shape Syria’s political future

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Online marketplaces can help close Africa’s skills gap

What young people can teach world leaders about mental health in 2020

Fisherwomen of Lake Chad show optimism in face of multiple challenges

World simply ‘not on track’ to slow climate change this year: UN weather agency

Abandoned mines could become the farms of the future

‘Huge’ stakes, ‘daunting’ job to tackle gender-based violence, UNICEF chief tells ground-breaking conference

Indonesia has a plan to deal with its plastic waste problem

EU opens a third antitrust file against Google

The challenges of mental health: an inconvenient reality

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Tuberculosis infections declining, but not fast enough among poor, marginalised: UN health agency

‘Alarming levels’ of methamphetamine trafficking in Asia’s Mekong, UN warns

European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

Can the Americans alone determine the future of Syria?

More than half of world’s refugee children ‘do not get an education’, warns UNHCR

This app lets you order leftovers to help fight food waste

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

How video games can reunite a divided world

UN unveils global influenza strategy to prevent ‘real’ threat of pandemic

From battlefields to boardrooms: 3 steps to building high-morale teams

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

Here’s how to prepare South-East Asia’s young people for the future

These are the challenges facing India’s most sacred river

European Elections: “Web giants” are urging users to vote

We don’t need to ban plastic. We just need to start using it properly

Engaging women and girls in science ‘vital’ for Sustainable Development Goals

Why carbon capture could be the game-changer the world needs

3 things to know about India’s space programme

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

Deaths from far-right terrorism have more than tripled in the West

Brexit: With May gone the Tory divide is to sink the UK despite Brits wanting to ‘Remain’

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Scourge of slavery still claims 40 million victims worldwide, ‘must serve as a wakeup call’

Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to ‘make sense of this senseless war’

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

The ASEAN Community sees the light: the genesis of a new powerful economic and political bloc and EU’s big opportunity

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Over 85% of European bathing sites rated as excellent for water quality

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

Light at the end of the Eurozone tunnel

5 trends in the global economy – and their implications for economic policymakers

‘I don’t like to give up’: veteran UN envoy reveals how two decades of quiet diplomacy gave birth to North Macedonia

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

Eurozone hasn’t escaped the deflation danger

4 essential qualities for digital leaders

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

Revealed: danger and squalor for cleaners who remove human waste by hand

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

From ‘strength to strength’ UN-African Union security partnership growing, Security Council hears

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s