MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Madam President! Dear Colleagues! On Saturday we celebrate 30 years of reunification. The fall of the Berlin Wall preceded it, but it wasn’t just the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was the fall of the Iron Curtain. We are celebrating not only the reunification of Germany but also the reunification of Europe. It was someone else who once said: The first stones of the Berlin Wall, dear colleague Sarrazin, were broken off by Poland. – I therefore believe that these days we should especially remember the courage of many in Europe who have gone ahead here; because without her none of this would have been possible.
Today, as part of a budget debate, I would just like to remind you once – we often talk about numbers or what could possibly have been done better, which is certainly all right – if we dare to look back and look how the countries, how whole regions looked at that time, then we also see the success story of European integration, without which German reunification could not have taken place.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the ALLIANCE 90 / THE GREENS)
We have now held the Council Presidency for the fourth time since reunification. Indeed: many thick chunks lay in front of us, are still in front of us. Much has already been tackled and solved – not even here through Germany alone. The basis for the success of the negotiations on the multi-year financial framework and of course also on the reconstruction fund, the recovery fund, as it is also called, was laid primarily through a Franco-German compromise. Once again: Without Germany and France working together, this engine that we need in Europe will not work or the whole thing will not prove itself.
I think today is a good day – Michael Roth has already pointed this out – in terms of the rule of law and the rule of law mechanism:
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Have you read the text?)
With a majority decision in Brussels we were now able to help the German proposal to succeed,
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: That is no rule of law mechanism!)
which in some countries does not go far enough.
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: Neither do I! I have read everything that is in it! – Alexander Graf Lambsdorff [FDP]: That is a weak suggestion!)
– Graf Lambsdorff, you are absolutely right. – I am thinking of Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, but also
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [ALLIANCE 90 / THE GREENS]: Austria!)
Finland, for whom this proposal does not go far enough. But I think it’s a compromise on the first serve; because for the first time we have actually determined veritably,
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: This is not a rule of law mechanism!)
that the rule of law is a principle in Europe,
(Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: No! It was deleted!)
that has to be lived.
(Alexander Graf Lambsdorff [FDP]: There has to be a compromise at the end! – Dr. Franziska Brantner [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: It has just been deleted!)
I think that’s important; because it’s not just about Poland and Hungary or about a Poland and Hungary bashing. There were other countries that sailed in this slipstream, if I only recall the incidents in Slovakia or Malta, which in the end did not always have this prominent place in media coverage, but definitely deserved a closer look.
We now have a proposal on the common European asylum system on the table – this is also part of the German Council Presidency. The Commission presented it this week. That is a good suggestion – it is also a good basis for joint action. But strictly speaking, that’s not the basis. The basis, so that we can finally act together in Europe, is the Geneva Refugee Convention, which has been signed by all states in Europe: also by Poland, also by Hungary, also by the Czech Republic,
(Michael Georg Link [FDP]: Exactly! That’s how it is!)
also exactly from the Visegrad countries. It is important to remember this more strongly.
(Michael Georg Link [FDP]: Exactly!)
It is our duty to act if we want to finally come to a solution here.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD and FDP)
I do not want to go into the many other foreign policy challenges that were highlighted this morning by the Chancellor, but also earlier by Michael Roth. A big chunk remains that has not been so focused in today’s debate. That is the Brexit issue.
First of all, I would like to thank Michel Barnier for leading the negotiations. It is really great, with what composure, with what patience he does the whole thing for us, for the European Union. He cannot be provoked at all. Such behavior is not only in demand these days, it was also in demand during the negotiations for the exit agreement; because, as is well known, Great Britain left the European Union on January 31 of this year.
But the truth also actually includes the fact that things are not going right. Indeed, the time was wasted over the summer. The follow-up agreement consists not only of the economic pact, but also of the security partnership, which the rest of the United Kingdom no longer wants to negotiate. That is a shame because we need it in the area of judicial cooperation, in questions of data exchange; I don’t want to go into that in detail now for reasons of time.
But it is also true, of course, that each country ultimately decides for itself which rapprochement it wants to seek with the European Union. At the same time, it is also true that existing agreements must be adhered to. Boris Johnson loses the last spark of credibility if he no longer respects an existing contract, but contradicts it with the so-called Internal Market Act.
We demand from the candidate countries respect for the rule of law and the rule of law. We also ask Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Malta to do so, as mentioned earlier. But we also ask it of those countries that want to enter into a trade partnership with the European Union.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU as well as from members of the FDP and member of parliament Frank Schwabe [SPD])
It is therefore unacceptable that this single market law should be used to lay the entry path, that, for example, in Great Britain through state support, fair competition in Europe is undermined, that we ultimately impose the burdens on our companies that another country then does not want to meet the motto: wash my fur, but don’t get me wet!
It is a shame that Boris Johnson is running his scenario against the background of distracting from domestic political deficits: distracting from the catastrophic handling of the corona crisis in Great Britain, but also distracting from many other domestic political difficulties, to put it politely. However, the pressure in Great Britain continues to increase against the background of Scotland’s aspirations for independence.
Let me conclude. Our German companies, but also others in Europe, are well advised to prepare for a hard winter; because even if a free trade agreement is still successful, customs controls will still have to take place at the borders. Everyone should be prepared for this, our economy in particular.
Our hand remains outstretched – it was always to Europe’s advantage when we went hand in hand.
Thank you very much.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.