Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I have been looking forward to hear more from jandsm, hesk, Saturday and PeWi on this...I think they are on holiday (Hopefully!)...so thanks for this update. It's hard to tell, really, but from where I sit, Schröeder seems like he's "toast"...so who will it leave, and where will that person take Germany? The answer is coming soon, it seems.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 11:14:56 AM EST
I've been on vacation the last week and was annoyed when I came home that nothing had happened with the campaigns.  It's really void of any content, so much, that the papers are starting to discuss the parallels of 2002 (floods and Iraq/Iran).

The Spiegel did an interview with Wolfgang Gerhardt lately.  He's the FDP foreign policy expert and if there's "regime change" next month in Germany, he'll likely be the next foreign minister.

Some on-topic quotes:

SPIEGEL: The proposed expansion of the UN Security Council to include a German seat looks like it has failed. If there is a change of government in September, would you try again?

Gerhardt: We need a new attempt to reform the entire United Nations. Schröder and (Foreign Minister Joschka) Fischer have put the cart before the horse, because they've only been talking about the Security Council. In the first instance, we have to try to improve the ability of the UN to secure peace and protect human rights. This world organisation needs to be more responsive, forceful and meaningful. Political prestige should come last of all.

SPIEGEL: But do you still think there is a chance of a permanent German seat?

Gerhardt: I had always envisaged a European seat. For that, the UN Charter must be changed, so that organisations like the EU can also receive a seat.


SPIEGEL: In July, negotiations on the financing of the EU until 2013 failed. Is another attempt possible this year?

Gerhardt: The British presidency of the EU desperately wants this, and I think there's a good chance it will succeed. But for this, the EU agricultural subsidies have to be reformed; individual EU states must take over part of the funding process through national co-financing. Our French neighbors have strictly ruled this out. [...]

SPIEGEL: If the French back-down on the common agricultural policy, the British have to give up their EU budget rebate. This was the crux of discussions in June.

Gerhardt: Both sides have to give ground. If France makes concessions on CAP, then the British rebate can be phased out.


SPIEGEL: The French and the Dutch have rejected the European Constitution after holding a referendum. Is the constitution a dead duck?

Gerhardt: A more streamlined constitution would have been much more agreeable. A lot could have been sorted out just through implementing laws. The new draft should stick to the fundamentals: the question of power sharing, the charter of basic rights and the common foreign- and security policy. Europe needs a constitution, not an encyclopedia which tries to direct every minutia.

Sorry, I don't have much time right now, but I'll post some election updates from time to time.

by hesk on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 02:56:19 PM EST
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Reading under the lines, I sense the Franco-German motor is about to be ditched.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 05:40:48 AM EST
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why, I wonder??

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 07:40:48 AM EST
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