Merkel Favors EU Aircraft Carrier, UN Security Council Seat as per AKK’s Plan
The German Chancellor has reminded, however, that France remains skeptical about the possibility for a single EU permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear her support for the plan for a “stronger” EU laid out by her successor as CDU party leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), including building an EU aircraft carrier and security a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the Union.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, who became leader of Germany’s ruling conservative party in December 2018 after Merkel retired from the job, published on Saturday an op-ed in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent call “For European Renewal”.
In her op-ed entitled in English “Getting Europe Right”, AKK echoed much of Macron’s vision but also delineated her differences with him, largely epitomizing the difference between the French and the German vision on how the EU should develop further.
Speaking on Monday, Merkel, who is due to complete her fourth and last term as German Chancellor in 2021 (unless she resigns earlier), voiced her support for Kramp-Karrenbauer’s suggestions, including the one about building the EU’s first joint aircraft carrier, a security move that would have both symbolic and practical implications.
“Germany and France are already working together on the project of a European future combat aircraft, and other nations are invited to participate,” AKK said in her article.
“The next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier to express the global role of the European Union as a power ensuring security and peace,” she declared.
Merkel said on Monday that a joint EU aircraft carrier would be a good idea in the future, but added that the bloc does “have to do other things as a priority”, as cited by DW.
“It’s right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I’m happy to work on it,” stated the German Chancellor who has in the past declared support for the further development of intra-EU military cooperation.
Merkel also endorsed Kramp-Karrenbauer’s suggestion for a single European seat on the UN Security Council.
“[That is] a very good concept for the future [which would help] gather the European voices,” she declared.
At the same time, she acknowledged the existing French opposition to a single EU permanent seat on the UN Security.
“The fact that France is skeptical about a European seat at the UN is well-known,” Merkel said.
Once the UK is no longer part of the Union after Brexit, France will remain the only EU member state to have a permanent UN Security Council seat as well as an aircraft carrier and nuclear weapons.
Germany has campaigned for a long time for a permanent seat for itself on the UN Security Council, a privilege still enjoyed only by the victors from World War II, the USA, the UK, France, China, and Russia (as a successor of the former Soviet Union).
A single EU permanent seat on the UN Security Council would likely mean doing away with Germany’s respective aspirations.
Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert stressed at a news conference on Monday that Kramp-Karrenbauer’s plans for the EU “harmonize with the thoughts of the chancellor.”
Some key aspects in which AKK’s EU vision differs from that of French leader Macron include having the European Parliament sit only in Brussels, without its second seat in the symbolic French city of Strasbourg in Alsace, and opposition to EU-wide coordination on minimum salaries and social services.
(Banner image: Angela Merkel on Twitter)