Tags: germany | eu | leadership | politics

German Stance Puzzles EU Leadership

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 10:20 AM EST

BERLIN — Amid the squabbling among European Union member states over who will become the bloc’s first president and foreign minister, the one country that has puzzled diplomats in Brussels is Germany. It holds the key for the selection of the two jobs, and it is also crucial for influencing the direction of Europe.

Yet Chancellor Angela Merkel, so far, has not put forward a German for either post, even though the former foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, would be a popular choice among the member states to lead foreign policy.

Instead, Mrs. Merkel will send a provincial politician, Günther Oettinger, premier of the state of Baden-Württemberg, as an E.U. commissioner, even though he has never expressed any interest in Brussels.

Mrs. Merkel also never bothered to come up with a candidate to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO secretary general this year. In the end, the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, got the job. Germany is not even pushing hard to ensure that it keeps the post of assistant secretary general for political affairs when the incumbent returns to Berlin this month. This important post, traditionally held by Germany, includes the Russian dossier.

To read full New York Times story — Go Here Now.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009 10:20 AM
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