The rule of law is the foundation of the EU
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel came to Berlin for a farewell visit. As well as relations between the two countries, the discussion focused on the topics to be addressed by the European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
Energy prices and digital agenda
Europe is currently concerned with the rising energy prices. Last Wednesday, the European Commission had presented to cope with the global increase in energy prices and to help people and companies in Europe. Merkel said that the Federal Government regarded the Commission’s analysis as largely correct. However, some points needed to be further developed in order to understand exactly how pricing works.
Another topic for the European Council is the digital agenda. Both countries support the strengthening of the digital market in Europe, the Federal Chancellor said. However, there is still a lot to be done here. For example, decisions are still not being made quickly enough.
Significant effort required for rule of law
In Brussels, the heads of state and government will also talk about the rule of law. In recent months and years, there had been numerous conflicts between the member states which affected the foundations of the European Union, Merkel said. “This doesn’t seem very easy at the moment,” she said, with reference to the most recent verdict of the Polish constitutional court. On 7 October, the court had ruled that components of EU law violated the country’s constitution.
The Federal Chancellor stressed that a significant political effort would be required which emphasised respect for all member states on the one hand, while not allowing any deviation from the fundamental principles of the EU on the other. The fundamental principle of the rule of law, she continued, was the outcome of painstaking efforts by the Central and Eastern European countries over 30 years ago.
Merkel pointed out the very good relations between the two countries, saying that all problems could be solved through discussion. Although discussions of the coronavirus pandemic had got off to a “juddery” start, they were now working together very well on this topic, too. Helpers from Luxembourg had also supported people in Ahrtal in Rhineland-Pfalz during the flood disaster, which had been “a great sign of solidarity”. In conclusion, the Federal Chancellor said: “I may say that the commonalities between Germany and Luxembourg are perhaps also a role model for the relations that we should have elsewhere in Europe.”