Sad Merkel issues final warning to EU over infighting – I am concerned

Macron ‘won’t fill Merkel role’ says Professor Bricmont

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The outgoing German Chancellor added that she was “concerned about the large number of cases that are now being settled in court.” It comes as the European Parliament is considering legal action against the European Commission over its reluctance to use new powers to suspend budget payments to certain countries accused of breaching the rule of law.

Ms Merkel told reporters: “from my point of view, I find it a bit saddening, if I may say so cautiously, when Parliament says that now we may have to sue the Commission.

“I don’t think that will lead to anything.”

She stressed her belief that EU countries should remain united on difficult questions, recalling that “the exit of the United Kingdom was a great sadness” for her.

She urged against halting funds for Poland and Hungary despite mounting pressure.

Many MEPs want action to be taken against the two countries over ongoing allegations that they are undermining their own democracies.

Last Tuesday, the Polish government adopted a ruling from the nation’s Constitutional Tribunal that said that the Polish constitution has primacy over some EU law.

A requirement of membership to the EU is that its law supersedes that of individual member states.

Ms Merkel said that the EU had “big problems”, but she advised that they be solved “in talks, to find compromises”.

“I think it is now time to talk in-depth with the Polish government, how we can overcome the difficulties,” she said.

The German Chancellor warned against activating the new powers until challenges in the European Court of Justice over it had been settled.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said he was “on the same page” as Merkel when it came to the EU’s rule of law.

He said: “I think that just criticizing and finger-pointing from the outside is not going to lead us anywhere.”

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Ms Merkel is due to step down as German Chancellor this year, after 16 years at the helm.

However, September’s election in Germany saw Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffer a massive loss in the polls, losing nearly 9 percent of their vote compared with the last election, raising uncertainty as to who will replace her.

The CDU was narrowly beaten by Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SDP), which took the most seats out of any party but failed to gain an outright majority.

The SDP has now opened formal coalition talks with the Greens and the Free Democrats – which combined would have enough seats in the Bundestag to form a government.

The CDU’s waning popularity came as Ms Merkel’s replacement as leader, Armin Laschet, had a campaign dogged by missteps.

Mr Lachet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, was accused of poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

And in July Mr Laschet was filmed laughing as the president of Germany made a speech in a town which had been largely destroyed by catastrophic flooding.

Following the blunder, his approval rating dropped to 13 percent.

He only narrowly secured the nomination to be the CDU candidate for chancellor over Bavarian rival Markus Söder.

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