Kohl encourages Merkel to pursue EU unity

  
Merkel arrives in Brussels for a meeting with top EU leaders. 16 July 2014 [The Council of the European Union]
Merkel arrives for a meeting with top EU leaders. Brussels, 16 July. [The Council of the European Union]

In a letter congratulating German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her 60th birthday Thursday (17 July), former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl encouraged her to focus on policy that brings Europe closer together, and emphasised the value of partnership with the United States. EurActiv Germany reports.

"I would like to encourage you to hold on to a united Europe, to further promote political agreement and continue to stand up for necessary stability", writes Helmut Kohl in a congratulatory letter published in Germany's Bild newspaper on Angela Merkel's 60th birthday (17 July).

84-year-old Kohl, who served as German Chancellor from 1982 to 1998, spoke of a unique success story for Germany and Europe "alongside our American friends in the free Western world and community of values".

From 1991 to 1998, Merkel worked closely with Kohl as his Minister of Women and Youth and Minister of Environment. He is considered one of Merkel's most defining political mentors.

"In view of the current circumstances and discussions, I can only encourage you again to continue resolutely along this path," Kohl writes in the letter.

If stability and security is to remain guaranteed on the European continued, Kohl writes, there is no alternative to a united Europe and the euro. But Europe and its common currency can only fulfill the hopes invested in them as a "community of stability among member states that are stronger and likewise able to take common action".

Political actors in the EU are currently debating whether more or less integration should be the bloc's goal. At the moment, Germany's relations with the United States are particularly strained due to numerous revelations regarding spying activities undertaken by US intelligence services.

Pro-euro currency from the start

In May 1998, Helmut Kohl was among European Community heads of state and government, who decided in Brussels to introduce the euro currency.

At the time, Kohl himself admitted he was aware that his decision went against the will of a broad majority of the German population and that he would have to forgo many votes in the Bundestag elections a few months later. Sure enough, later that year Kohl's Christian democrats lost the race to social democrat Gerhard Schröder.

Just a few days before EU elections on 25 May 2014,  Kohl emphasised that a united Europe remains a question "of war and peace, along with everything that follows: peace comes with freedom, prosperity and democracy."

In a May interview with Bild, Kohl emphasised that to achieve this, finances must be straightened out, and political union, on issues of economic and financial policy, as well as foreign and security policy, must be placed back on the agenda.

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Comments

an european's picture

A United Europe !
Yes I'm for .. but NOT if it comes on it's every 's own selfish - competing each other on their own behalf and causing damage each other ..the common level need to be more fhomogeneous !

David Barneby's picture

I think Kohl is out of touch with the EU . There has been since the original treaty of Rome an aim for a united Europe ; but today it is unlikely to happen , pushing it may easily cause a split . It is all very well for politicians to follow idealism , but I don't think the people will support it . Britain will never join a federal state of Europe . Right across Europe people prefer their own sovereignty , better to have 28 sovereign states .

an european's picture

Of course Britain will not join but will exit in 2017 - !
About "sovereignty" what about Scotland ?
If it comes to jobs and economy then for me this is much more important than sovereignty and an huge amount of jobless & bad economy!
When do you think people get frustrated ?
At least those 18 EMU states will share more of it's financial policies / structures !

GeorgeMc's picture

You are quite right David, and right now, according to stats from Eurobarometer, trust in the EU has reached a new low in Spain, UK, France, Germany, Italy. With Poland not having a majority, but distrust in the high Forty Percentage points. That covers about 350 million of your 505 million people.

Link to the Guardian article:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/24/trust-eu-falls-record-low

Starbuck's picture

@GeorgeMc

Lol !! so what ?

distrust in EU institutions is more often than not a projection of distrusts in national politicians, since they are more mediatised and have a more direct influence on the voters concern (think taxes, social policies, housing, economic intervention ...).
in that respect, the quickest and easiest way for the citizens to improve their assessment of EU institutions/policies would be for national politicians to regain some of their credibility.
interestingly, the EU can also improve its popularity when seen as a counter-balance if national politicians just "don't get it" and keep sinking ;)

If I were to use your argumentation, then anyone would probably reach the conclusion that the UK is an ungovernable, corrupt, broken country. Bound to internal explosions of riots and secessionist tendencies by ethnic minorities (scots, irish) ... ridiculous
and yet, here are the "polls" :

73% thought UK politicians corrupt, which in your understanding means 73% of UK politicians "are" corrupt
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26729268

60% are distrustful of UK politicians, which means UK institutions must be hated even more than EU ones. Revolution and Freedom !! ^^
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/14/guardian-icm-five-nation-poll

"broken society" and "riots" caused by general distrust in politicians. Here we are : riots everywhere, all the time, the end is near !!
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/riots-stoked-by-mistrust-of-p...

Best regards,

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