Juncker exposes key change Merkel introduced to EU politics as Germany influence to grow

Germany election: Juncker reflects on Merkel’s time in office

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Jean-Claude Juncker said Angela Merkel was the first German politician to institute a sense of “European feeling” within her policies throughout her 16-year leadership of Germany. Former European Commission President Juncker suggested the changes Chancellor Merkel introduced with her tenure will affect Berlin’s relationship with the European Union long after Sunday’s German election. Speaking to BBC’s Outside Source, Mr Juncker said: “She developed a kind of European feeling.

“After Angela Merkel, there will be no German Chancellor not being pro-European.”

German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said Mrs Merkel’s work over nearly two decades made Germany one of the most stable members of the European Union as he dismissed suggestions that her departure will change Berlin’s levels of influence across the bloc.

Mr Ischinger said: “Germany, most likely, will continue to be the single most politically stable element in the European Union.

“And the single biggest economic power in the European Union. 

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“That’s why Germany is going to remain important and probably grow in importance.”

Mrs Merkel, in power since 2005, is planning to stand down as leader of Europe’s biggest economy after Sunday’s election, although she will remain chancellor during coalition talks.

Germany faces months of tough negotiations to form a coalition government, with three parties set to need to team up to clear the threshold of 50 percent of all seats in the Bundestag after the vote.

If Olaf Scholz’s centre-left Social Democrats come first, the Greens, now third in polls, would be his obvious choice for a coalition partner.

The parties broadly agree on environment policy and on raising taxes and social spending, though the Greens are far more hawkish on Russia policy.

More to follow…

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