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.

the sting Milestones

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

4 eco-friendly products put sustainable spins on classic practices, from teacups to hankies

Parliament proposes policy toolbox to curb air pollution

EU Cohesion policy: Commission adopts €21 billion Greek Partnership Agreement for 2021-2027

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

Companies that put employees first perform better

Prejudice-based medicine

Egyptian death sentences a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’: UN human rights chief

Palliative care and UHC in India: Still Uncharted Waters?

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

Funding boost for sustainable development data agreed at UN conference

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

Human rights breaches in Nigeria and Burundi

Moving from a promise made in Sweden towards hope for peace in Yemen

Ignorance or Refusal: Determinants in the individual’s choice for palliative care

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe – 14 June 2016

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

This is how wellbeing drives social change and why cultural leaders need to talk about it

‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

Human rights breaches in Hong Kong, Russia and at the US-Mexican border

How governments can redesign support for entrepreneurs after COVID-19

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

Climate change will be sudden and cataclysmic. We need to act fast

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

Apparently the EU Digital Single Market passes necessarily from China’s Digital Silk Road

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

Can Southeast Asia keep up with growing energy demand?

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2019 review highlights that tackling climate change can be a driver for growth and jobs

Coronavirus variants: Commission calls for limiting essential travel from India

World Retail Congress Dubai 2016: Retail’s night of nights

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

GSMA Introduces MWC21 Travel Partner Gray Dawes

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

Amid ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, hundreds cross Iraqi border in search of safety

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

230 Junior Entrepreneurs and over 70 guests attended the International Congress on “Entrepreneurial Skills for Youth”

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Towards a tobacco free India

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

More Stings?

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