The German debate about the French EU-Presidency priorities

Being the closest political partner within the European Union, the German debate about the French EU-Presidency is quite substantial. All relevant German actors are quite engaged in observing and evaluating the announced priorities, no less due to the fact that the German government was involved in the preparations with the French Presidency from the start. As mentioned above,[1] because of the failed ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, the focus of the debate shifted from the four official French EU-Presidency’s priorities, to the question of the Reform Treaty’s future.
 
In this subchapter German actors’ interests and concerns with regard to the French agenda for the second half of 2008 will be analysed according to the following issues of the debate: energy/climate, future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), defence, immigration, Union for the Mediterranean.
 
Energy and climate policy
 
The debate on energy and climate issues has become one of the most vitally discussed topics in German politics and society, with growing attention to the fight against global warming. Basically all relevant political parties and non-governmental organisations agree on the fact, that combating climate change and the need to secure energy supply will be part of the main challenges in the coming decades. The results of the European Council Summit under the German Presidency in March 2007 and the broad agreement, reached on the G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm, influenced the German position on climate policy for more than one year now. Especially Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister for Environment, Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), keep declaring that Germany feels responsible for the enforcement of the agreement’s content, concluded under their leadership. Taking these aspects into account, the French Presidency will be strongly supported by the German government in implementing the ambitious targets for a European energy and climate policy.[2] The introduction of new directives and regulations on EU level in fulfilment of last years agreements (“Climate and Energy Package”), however, lead to the appearance of some conflicts of interests within the political system in Germany. These differences can be observed, on one hand, by the debates between the German government and the European Commission, and, on the other hand, in a similar way between the German Federal Ministries for Economic Affairs and for Environment. As it is already made apparent, the ministers and their staff have different opinions of importance on the need to support competitiveness, security of supply and environmental issues. Concrete thematic differences between the European Commission and German ministries as well as between the two German ministries responsible, can be found in the following areas[3]:
 

  • ·         First, the future of the EU-emission-trading-system (ETS) after 2012 and the amount of certificates being sold or handed over for free as well as the burden-sharing for the sectors not affected by the ETS.
  • ·         Second, the design of the new directive on renewable energies and the future of the German feed-in-system.
  • ·         Third, the binding targets of biofuel usage in European and German energy markets.
  • ·         Fourth, over the last few months, the dramatic rise in oil prices added another issue to most debated proposals: Which measures should be used to lower the social effects of rising prices for fossil fuels.

 
The political parties in Germany stand divided on several issues of the French Presidency’s programme. Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) refer increasingly to the need to protect German consumers and industry in global and European markets. They advertise for the need to retain companies who, because of the extension (and the subsequent additional cost) of the new rules for the ETS, would have otherwise decided to leave the country.[4] This process, called “carbon leakage”, is seen as one of the main challenges in preserving the competitiveness of the German economy. The meeting of Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy in Straubing, Germany, on 9 June 2008 had been well received by CDU/CSU politicians. It was particularly welcomed because of its results, which provide short- and middle-term protection to German car manufacturers from being issued unreachable emission reductions for their products.[5] Nevertheless, no agreement had been found between Merkel and Sarkozy on the issue of supporting European companies affected by the full integration into the ETS. While the French position aims at introducing tariffs on CO2-intensive products from non-EU countries, the German government favours financial help for companies being affected by global competition.
 
German Social Democrats (SPD) support the most important points of the EU energy and climate policy and share the opinion of Environmental Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, on the need to play an active role in the fight against global warming. Nevertheless, the governing SPD’s rejection to the use of nuclear energy might be the cause of a serious conflict for future negotiations on climate protection measures, especially regarding the French position on the topic. Liberals (FDP) share the opinion of the CDU/CSU in developing a climate policy that is not damaging economic development and protecting the interest of important industrial companies.[6] Therefore, they support a more market-oriented climate policy model. One emphasis lies on the liberalisation of the EU energy markets, which has been restarted by the European Commission in September 2007 and could also lead to an agreement in autumn 2008. The German government earns the most criticism on its energy and climate policy from the oppositional Green Party (“Bündnis 90/Grüne”). Its members fear that last year’s ambitious targets will not be accomplished as long as Chancellor Merkel is supporting the interests of the German economy (e.g. as seen during the French-German meeting in Straubing and the results for the automotive industry). The Green Party introduced a proposal to establish a “European Community on Renewable Energies”, similar to the European Community for Coal and Steel and the European Atomic Energy Community in the 1950s.[7] This new community could then be using the same method that was previously applied for the subsidy of coal and nuclear energy. The Left Party (“Die Linke”) wants the European climate policy to be even more ambitious and therefore, support a 30 percent target for 2020. They estimate it as absolutely necessary to include German industry even more strongly into the emission trading system.[8]
 
Whereas the political parties argue about the details of the European Commission’s “climate-and-energy-package”, being a priority of the French Presidency, the debates within civil societies and among non-governmental organisations and industrial groups are of a more general nature. On the one hand, environmental NGOs, such as “BUND” or “Greenpeace” urge the German government to be more proactive on climate policy, since European agreements on climate protection have to be implemented as laws. On the other hand, German industrial groups, such as the “Energy-Intensive Industry Union” (“VIK”), see the emission trading system only as another way to earn more state money, but not to succeed in fighting global warming.[9] A similar structure of the debate can be found in German media. The rather conservative newspaper “Die Welt”, celebrates the agreement between Merkel and Sarkozy in Straubing as a success for German automotive industry[10], while, at the same time, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” points out, that the agreement will be worthless for climate protection.[11]
 
A Health check of the CAP
 
The review of the CAP is one of the long-term issues which falls upon the French Presidency.[12] The attention towards developments in the agricultural policy are of no great German public interest. Only the fact of rapidly growing food prices draws some attention to this field. On the question of the future development of the CAP, Germany represents a moderate position between protectionist attitudes, as those in France, and full liberalization, as demanded by Great Britain.
 
Chancellor Merkel promised German farmers to support their interests at the proceedings of the “health check” on the EU level. On the German farmers’ day in Berlin, she declared that, “every form of agriculture has its right to exist and deserves a future perspective”[13]. Her policy input will be directed especially on the cutback on bureaucracy in the national and European administration.[14] In addition, German policy aims at planning reliability, dependability and fair conditions for competition inside Europe.[15] The Ministry of Agriculture shares the view of the European Commission on many points, such as the decoupling of direct payments and the introduction of more market oriented instruments. Nevertheless, there will still be a need for protection of European markets, regarding some specific products which could not compete on global markets. However, the Ministry warns the Commission not to cut the direct payments too far. According to the Parliamentarian State Secretary in the Ministry of Agricultural, Gerd Müller, this would not be a “health check” but more or less an “amputation” on jobs and farms in Germany, especially in the weak East of the country.[16]
 
Political parties in Germany reflect their position on agricultural policy by the diverging interest of their electorate. Conservatives such as the CDU, and especially the Bavarian CSU, strongly support German farmers in standing against plans of the European Commission to cut subsidies, while Social Democrats and the Left Party represent moderate positions. Liberals also demand cutting costs of the bureaucracy, while the Green Party support environmentally consistent concepts on land use as well as ecologically sensitive agriculture.[17] Therefore, the CDU/CSU-group in the Bundestag demands reforms on the European level be stopped until 2013 to give farmers more planning reliability, as well as demanding cuts in the expensive work of the administration. This goes in line with the work of Agricultural Minister, Horst Seehofer (CSU) in the Council of Ministers, who resists the wishes of the European Commission to cut back payments to farmers before 2013. The SPD also criticises the digression of subsidies before 2013, especially in connection with the size of the farming site. In opposition to the CDU/CSU, the Social Democrats demand a deeper integration of climate policy into the agricultural agenda and welcome the support for measures on environmentally sensitive farms. Liberals also support planning reliability until 2013 and no digression of payments. However, farmers should be given support towards working more efficiently and productively, in order to compete on free markets within a reasonable timeframe. The Greens are the only party to attack the German government fundamentally and welcome the plans of the Commission in most issues, especially towards rethinking subsidies before 2013. With a particular focus on the battle against climate change, Green politicians say that the agricultural sector has to apply more effort to cut emissions.[18] This is not accomplished by supporting ecologically non-sensible sites with massive financial input. Therefore, a rapid and fundamental reform of the CAP on the EU level is needed.
 
Within German society, the lobby-group of German farmers is the most noted voice on the issue of the CAP’s future. Their position is, in most aspects, compliant with the German position in the Council, demanding planning reliability. This entails not changing policy until 2013 and not cutting subsidies, as well as a simplification of procedures. The media is more concerned with high food prices than with the European Commission’s intended reform of the agricultural policy. Nevertheless, especially in left-wing and liberal press sources, there is some criticism towards farmers and the German government. Here, main topics include the blocking of all steps to reform the financial structure in the EU and therefore driving global food markets into an even more severe crisis.[19]
 
Most representatives of the academic community are missing a strategic approach to the future developments of the CAP. With respect to the WTO negotiations on agricultural products, a second thought should be given to Europe’s position on the issue.[20] Other authors fear that the Irish ‘No’ in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty could be used by French President Sarkozy to bring the EU back on a more protectionist track for the coming years and thereby collect important support from the strong agro-lobby in France.[21]
 
‘Europe of defence’
 
The question of further developments within the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was not widely discussed in German politics in recent months. If mentioned, foreign relations and security issues concern more national aspects, such as the concept of a new security strategy, as proposed by the CDU/CSU-group in the German parliament (“Deutscher Bundestag”), and the deployment of more German soldiers to Afghanistan. The focus on security and defence policy as one part of the French Presidency’s programme has not received much attention, even less after the negative Irish referendum.
 
Nevertheless, the German government, as represented by the Minister of Defence, Franz Josef Jung (CDU), supports the French plans for the further development of a genuine ESDP.[22] Concerning reforms, he suggested the extension of the “EU Battle-Groups” towards naval and airborne forces. The minister also mentioned the importance of civil reaction forces, as showed by the example of EULEX[23] in Kosovo. The advancement of a comprehensive European policy with regard to security issues should nevertheless go hand in hand with the development inside NATO.[24] There was some disagreement between Jung and his French colleague, Hervé Morin, about the structure of a new general staff headquarters for the enlarged European battle groups. Jung fears double-structures between EU and NATO, but offers to negotiate the matter between France and the disapproving British government.[25]
 
The German political parties are divided about the French proposals, but this is not a debate which is held on a daily base. There are two main aspects of the CDU/CSU’s new security strategy: firstly, the party wants to strengthen the ability of civil-military reaction and make it interoperable with NATO-structures. Secondly, they support the development of rapid civil reaction forces within the military.[26] Even if the need for a new security strategy is not shared by the Social Democrat Party (SPD), the opinion to strengthen civil-military abilities is mutual. In a joint paper, French Socialist, François Hollande, and the then SPD-leader, Kurt Beck, mention the extension of military and civil forces as necessary to prevent conflicts and secure peace. Therefore, they agree that the development of stronger battle groups is needed.[27] On the opposition’s side, Green Party deputy Omid Nouripour warns that, „with the proposal for force of 60.000 troops and the reductions within the French Army, the European Security and Defence Policy could become the instrument of a French policy of military intervention“[28]. The “militarization” of the ESDP was one of the strongest arguments for the Left Party to refuse the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.[29]
 
While there is no constant as well as consistent debate in the media or between relevant non-governmental organisations, the academic society is referring to this priority of the French Presidency in some publications. Some authors seem to be rather sceptical about the positioning of the security and defence policy on the forefront of the agenda. Especially regarding the need to persuade the Irish electorate to give the Lisbon Treaty another chance, it would not be suitable to pay too much attention to the development of European troops.[30]
 
European Pact on Immigration and Asylum
 
The French proposals in the context of a “European Pact for Immigration and Asylum”, which is planned to be decided upon by the Council of Ministers in October 2008, are only briefly discussed and criticised in German discussion. Although European migration and asylum policy is generally an issue of high interest among different German actors, the French ideas are less controversially argued than other priorities of the French Presidency. The French priorities mainly meet the Merkel government objectives, but are criticised by the smaller opposition parties, such as the Green Party and the Left Party. Not surprisingly, according to several non-governmental organisations like “ProAsyl” and “Attac Germany”, the French approach for a European immigration and asylum pact is said to be too restrictive vis-á-vis immigrants from developing countries.[31]
 
The German debate about objectives for the future of migration and asylum policy is rather of a more general nature than being focused on the French EU-Presidency’s agenda. Since political actors openly pronounced that Germany has become an immigration country, governments dealt mostly with the question of how to better integrate the population with foreign backgrounds. In fact, all political actors clearly differentiate between measures to protect against possible threats (like illegal migration, border control, the fight against terrorism and trans-national crime) and those areas where no menace can be detected (like asylum and integration policy, and the supervision of legal migration). Thus, the latter areas should instead be dealt with at the national level. However, like France, Germany is experiencing a “change in approach, from an immigration policy influenced by sovereignty and security considerations, to a policy that increasingly accepts Europe as an immigration continent”[32]. In addition, politicians recognise the growing need to stimulate legal immigration of skilled workers who are recently missing, according to national economists.[33] Thirdly, it has to be mentioned that Germany is no longer only an immigration but also an emigration country. The number of people emigrating from Germany in 2007 almost met the number of those immigrating to Germany.[34] On the one hand, the latter phenomenon is due to the fact that immigration flows are constantly declining, whereas on the other hand, more and more Germans are leaving the country for work-related reasons (about 636,857 in 2007).[35]
 
With regard to the French EU-Presidency’s priorities, the grand coalition government particularly supports the envisaged better protection of the EU’s external borders via more and better instruments for the EU’s border security agency FRONTEX, as well as a common European asylum system.[36] Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) tries to calm down any fears of ‘a fortress Europe’.[37] Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries (SPD) admits, however, that the development of a common European Asylum Policy will be a long-lasting, “difficult” project, as national regulations for asylum are quite diverse.[38] On the contrary, the oppositional Green and Left Parties both criticise the lack of solidarity vis-à-vis asylum seekers and qualify the EU migration policy as being inhumane.[39] According to the Green party, the concept of circular migration could not be realised if legal migration is not sufficiently supported.[40] The Left Party accuses European interior ministers of aiming at Europe to become a “bunker”.[41]
 
The media debate is quite clear in its evaluation: Although President Sarkozy’s activeness and engagement is hoped to have an accelerating effect on European integration in general,[42] the asylum pact is doubted to be the right tool and is described to be too segregated against third countries.[43] German journalists are worrying that Sarkozy’s concept of ‘protecting Europe and its citizens against all threats of globalisation’ could rather produce fears instead of the intended feeling of security.[44] It would, however, be more than necessary to attract highly qualified workers from aside the EU, as they only make up 5 percent of all immigrants coming to Europe (compared to a proportion of 55 percent migrating to the United States).[45]
 
Interestingly, polls prove that the German public supports a leading role for the European Union in migration policy and in control of external borders.[46] Interviewees seem to concede with Sarkozy’s objective to orient the French Presidency agenda toward the (French and European) citizens’ worries, which would entail more European co-operation in the fight against transnational crime, terrorism and illegal migration. In sum, German observers are unsure whether the “European Immigration and Asylum Pact” will be realisable without the Lisbon Treaty. As unanimity is still required for all Justice and Home Affairs decisions, some political scientists did not believe in French mediation capacities to make all member states agreeing upon this pact.[47]
 
Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean
 
Shortly after the official establishment of the Union for the Mediterranean on 13 July 2008 in Paris, German politicians and commentators fully recognized and supported this new project of EU-co-operation with its Mediterranean neighbourhood. After criticising the “dozed” Barcelona Process, the CDU-speaker of external relations, Eckart von Klaeden, welcomed Sarkozy’s initiative as a necessary approach to revive the co-operation between the EU and this region.[48] The breakthrough in relations between Syria and Lebanon led especially to a positive evaluation of Sarkozy’s engagement in the Union for the Mediterranean project by the German media.[49] In the past, the question of how to interact with Syria created some tension within the governing ‘grand coalition’ – as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pleaded for a strengthened association, Chancellor Merkel refused to deepen relations with Syrian President Assad and his country.[50]
 
On French ‘Bastille Day’, the 14 July, the former dissonance between Germany and France, which was brought about by Sarkozy’s plans for a Mediterranean Union, seemed to be forgotten. In the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean’s official launching, French President and Foreign Minister emphasized the helpful Franco-German cooperation and Sarkozy explicitly thanked Chancellor Merkel for her support.[51] Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s positively evaluated that the Union for the Mediterranean will concentrate its activities on different concrete projects like one about solar-energy.[52] “This is a project that is particularly close to my heart”, he said.[53]
 
Originally, Sarkozy’s plans only included a regionally restricted, closer co-operation between EU and non-EU member states that are directly located at the shores of the Mediterranean sea. Also, as he launched this first plan without consulting neither the other EU partners, nor the estimated future Union for the Mediterranean-member states, the French President was quickly confronted with several critics from different directions. The German government mainly criticised three points: Firstly, it feared a division of EU member states; between those supporting stronger ties with the European Union’s southern neighbouring countries and those aiming at a strengthened co-operation with the Eastern neighbourhood. Secondly, the link between the already existing Barcelona Process and the new initiative was missing and could have caused a duplication of structures and instruments. Thirdly, the financing of Sarkozy’s initiative was unclear, and any EU-payments for a regional project were not in German interests.[54]
Chancellor Merkel underlined the German interest in “overtaking responsibility” not only for the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, but also for the “Mediterranean region”,[55] and Foreign Minister Steinmeier stressed that all the issues the Union for the Mediterranean was supposed to deal with were issues of common EU concern: (“control of migration flows, environment protection, trade, energy supply, fight against organised crime and terrorism”).[56] Those problems could only be overcome by the EU’s joint action instead of only regional Mediterranean co-operation. Once again, the logic of the Franco-German engine, that implies a compromise between these two partner countries becoming a feasible alternative for the EU-27, worked. After some months of irritation between both governments,[57] talks between Merkel and Sarkozy finally led to a reconciliation of German and French interests regarding the Union for the Mediterranean project.[58] They agreed that the Union for the Mediterranean should include all 27 member states, a co-chair of an EU member state and an non-EU Mediterranean state, and that it should mainly deal with common projects. The European spring Council then agreed upon the new Union for the Mediterranean project being an official revival of the Barcelona Process.[59]
 
The only German party that still openly protested against the Union for the Mediterranean project was the generally eurosceptic Left Party. In general, mainly politicians participated in the German debate about the upcoming Union for the Mediterranean. The German media debate was strongly focused on the original tensions between Berlin and Paris because of the solo attempt of Sarkozy at the beginning. At a later stage, it mainly questions whether Sarkozy will be able to withdraw from playing a dominant (French) role in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.
 
Conclusion: German position regarding the French Presidency
 
In summary, the German position regarding the French Presidency has to be evaluated against the background of the special relationship between both countries. The regular meetings between authorities on all levels in the forefront of the French Presidency prove the importance of bilateral consulting. Both sides estimate this constant exchange as precondition to reach agreements within the whole Union. Due to the negative Irish referendum, as in most other countries, the German concerns about certain aspects of the French agenda slightly shifted. First of all, the future of the Lisbon Treaty became the main issue in political debates about the further developments of the EU. Besides, the implementation of the “Climate and Energy Package” remains one of the major topics for German as well as French actors. All other priorities such as migration, defence, agricultural and economic policy are less vividly discussed. Sarkozy’s initiative for a Mediterranean Union was first critically received, especially in the media, but earned more positive feedback after the Franco-German compromise in January 2008.
 
European External Action Service
 
At present, discussions about the concrete shape of the European External Action Service (EEAS) are most intense at the governmental level. Inside the German Foreign Ministry (“Auswärtiges Amt”) both those in charge of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) (“Political Department 2”) and in the task force on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty in the “European Department” are heavily involved in the planning of the EEAS details.
 
Parliament has taken some interest in the issue during the ratification procedure of the Lisbon Treaty, while the wider public is not involved. The Committee on European Affairs organised several hearings with experts on the results of the intergovernmental conference. One of them was devoted to CFSP issues including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EEAS. In addition opposition parties in the German parliament (“Deutscher Bundestag”) – the Left Party (“Die Linke”) and the Liberals (FDP) – made formal parliamentary requests to the government on the EEAS. While the former issued some concern about another ‘militarization’ of the EU through integrating the ESDP institutions into the EEAS,[60] the FDP request focused on the consistency question.[61] Particular emphasis was put on a strengthened role of the High Representative and the support function of the EEAS against too large of a role of the future President of the European Council.
 
Though being supportive of the Lisbon Treaty provisions on the CFSP in principal, the Christian-Democratic CDU faction (as one of the coalition parties) in the “Deutscher Bundestag” favoured the integration of the EEAS into the European Commission. In line with its integrationist approach, the Christian-Democrats thus supports the proposal of the European Parliament while the government’s considerations are rejected as being neither functionally nor politically desirable.[62]
 
In line with its previous considerations in the aftermath of the Constitutional Treaty, the German government wishes to see the EEAS as a sui generis creation. This implies something new which has to be strongly oriented towards the functions of the future High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as defined in the Lisbon Treaty, and it must operate under his/her authority. According to the German government, the basic parameters of the new ‘creature’ have to be defined in a comprehensive way in advance, even though the implementation of the EEAS may be more evolutionary due to budgetary restraints, diverging concepts among the 27 and even more so after the Irish ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty.
 
The German government underlines the equality of the EEAS personnel in disregard of its origin, and claims an even distribution of the posts between those officials coming from the Council Secretariat, the European Commission and the national diplomatic services. Equal status implies that officials from the member states can be posted both in the EEAS in Brussels and in the EU delegations abroad. In budgetary terms the total EEAS staff should be financed from the EU-budget.
 
The “Auswärtiges Amt” is highly interested in being represented in the EEAS right from the beginning and in an “appropriate” way i.e. in leading positions as well.
 



[1] See the answer on question 1 for Germany.

[2] Cf. Angela Merkel in an interview with “Straubinger Tagblatt”. See: Merkel: Wir unterstützen die französische Ratspräsidentschaft nach Kräften, Regierung online, 9 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[3] For further information see: Oliver Geden/Severin Fischer: Die Energie- und Klimapolitik der Europäischen Union. Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, Baden-Baden 2008.

[4] Cf. Marie-Luise Dött (CDU): Positionen zum europäischen Emissionshandel endlich offensiv einbringen, press release, 10 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008); Markus Pieper (EVP-ED/CDU): 50% höhere Strompreise durch EU-Emissionshandel, CDU/CSU-group in the European Parliament, press release, 27 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[5] Cf. Werner Langen (EVP-ED/CDU): Einigung Merkel-Sarkozy bringt CO2-Grenzwerte bei Autos voran, CDU/CSU-group in the European Parliament, press release, 10 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[6] Cf. Das Parlament: Streit um Energiepaket, 28 January 2008.

[7] Cf. Green group in the European Parliament: Grüne fordern “Europäische Gemeinschaft für Erneuerbare Energien“, press release, 24 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[8] Cf. speech of deputy Eva Bulling-Schroeter in the German parliament (”Deutscher Bundestag“) on 11 April 2008: EU-Emissionshandel und Erneuerbare, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[9] Cf. Verband der industriellen Energie- und Kraftwirtschaft (VIK): Emissionshandel: Neue CO2-Steuer durch die Hintertür, press release, 6 May 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[10] Cf. WeltOnline: Marktgerechter Klimaschutz, 11 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[11] Cf. Wolfgang Roth: Klimaschutz mit Drosselklappe. Der deutsch-französische Kompromiss nimmt zu viel Rücksicht auf die Autohersteller, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11 September 2008.

[12] It is interesting, however, that the French government highlighted this issue in their programme as there is not any time constraint to deal with the “health check” already.

[13] Translated by the author. Angela Merkel, according to: EU-info.Deutschland: Merkel sagt deutschen Bauern Unterstützung auf EU-Ebene zu, 28 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[14] Cf. ibid.

[15] Cf. Website of the German federal government on agricultural policy, (last access: 16 July 2008).

[16] Cf. speech of the Parliamentarian State Secretary Gerd Müller at the international workshop “A fair design for an European agricultural policy”: Health Check: Neue Wege für den ländlichen Raum?, Berlin, 6 March 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[17] Cf. for an overview: parliamentary debate on the “Health Check” in the German parliament (“Deutscher Bundestag”), see: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/136, Anlage 8, pp. 14426 (D)-14433 (A), available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[18] Cf. Fraktion Bündnis 90/Grüne im Deutschen Bundestag: Klimacheck für die europäische Agrarpolitik, 16 January 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[19] Cf. e.g. Petra Pinzler: Scheinheilige Helfer. Wieder wollen die Reichen die Armen mit ihren Überschüssen ernähren. Das schadet auf lange Sicht allen Beteiligten, in: Die Zeit, 10 July 2008.

[20] Cf. Bettina Rudloff: Parallele europäische Agrarreform und WTO-Agrarverhandlungen. Behindern oder stärken sich beide Prozesse wechselseitig?, SWP-Aktuell 29/2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[21] Cf. Andreas Maurer/Daniela Schwarzer: Der Schuss vor den Bug. Frankreich muss die Prioritäten seiner EU-Ratspräsidentschaft umgewichten, SWP-Aktuell 62/2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[22] Cf. Franz Josef Jung, according to: heute im Bundestag: Jung fordert weiteren Ausbau der ESVP, 4 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[23] European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.

[24] Cf. Ansgar Graw: Jung will Eingreiftruppen zur See und in der Luft, in: WeltOnline, 1 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[25] Cf. ibid.

[26] Cf. Beschluss der CDU/CSU-Fraktion im Deutschen Bundestag vom 6. Mai 2008: Eine Sicherheitsstrategie für Deutschland, p. 9, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[27] Cf. SPD: Kurt Beck und Francois Hollande legen gemeinsame Erklärung zur Zukunft der Europäischen Union vor, press release, 3 May 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[28] Cf. Fraktion Bündnis 90/Grüne im Deutschen Bundestag: Keine Interventionspolitik à la Sarkozy, 18 June 2008, press release No. 0671, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[29] Cf. Die Linke Fraktion im Deutschen Bundestag: Elemente der Verfassungsklage gegen den Vertrag von Lissabon, 26 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[30] Cf. Andreas Maurer/Daniela Schwarzer: Der Schuss vor den Bug. Frankreich muss die Prioritäten seiner EU-Ratspräsidentschaft umgewichten, SWP-Aktuell 62/2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[31] Cf. e. g. ProAsyl: Migration und Flüchtlingsschutz im Zeichen der Globalisierung, press release, 5 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 June 2008); Attac: Attac kritisiert Abschieberichtlinie als inhuman, 18 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[32] Translated by the author. Catherine Withol de Wenden: Von Widersprüchen und Notwendigkeiten: Perspektiven französischer und europäischer Migrationspolitik, DGAP Analyse Frankreich 4/2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[33] Cf. e.g. Green Party: Zukunftschancen werden verspielt, press release No. 111/08, 16 July 2008, (last access: 17 July 2008).

[34] Cf. Newsletter Migration und Bevölkerung: Studie zur Auswanderung aus Deutschland, 8/2007, available at: (last access 16 July 2008).

[35] Cf. Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland: Wanderungen zwischen Deutschland und dem Ausland 1991 bis 2007, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[36] Cf. Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion der FDP – Drucksache 16/9376 –, Bundestagsdrucksache 16/9556, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[37] Wolfgang Schäuble, cited according to: Zeit online: Innenminister-Konferenz. „Europa wird kein Bunker“, 8 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[38] Cf. Der Tagesspiegel: Zypries: EU-Asylpolitik wird schwierig, 8 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[39] Cf. Green Party: Inhumanen Einwanderungspakt stoppen, press release No. 107/08, 1 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008); Jan Korte (MP Left Party): Europa muss sicherer Anlaufpunkt für Menschen in Not werden, press release, 7 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[40] Cf. press release of the Green party faction: Kontraproduktive Signale von künftigen EU-Ratsvorsitz, No. 0576, 30 May 2008, available at: (last accessed: 16 July 2008).

[41] Jan Korte (MP Left Party): Europa muss sicherer Anlaufpunkt für Menschen in Not werden, press release, 7 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[42] Cf. Martin Winter: Projekt “Schutzraum Europa”, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[43] Cf. e.g.: Eric Bonse: Alle Schotten dicht, in: Handelsblatt, 19 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008); Alex Rühle: Da kann ja jeder kommen, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 20 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[44] Cf. e. g. Kathrin Haimerl/Birgit Kruse/Thorsten Denkler: Sarkozy – der Angstmacher bläst die Backen auf, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[45] Cf. Joachim Fritz-Vannahme: Zuwanderer gesucht!, in: Zeit online, 2 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[46] Cf. Special Eurobarometer: The role of the European Union in Justice, Freedom and Security policy areas, February 2007, p. 13, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[47] Cf. Daniela Weingärtner: Mehr Gerangel als Glanz, in: Das Parlament, 30 June 2008, available at: (last access: 16 June 2008). On the contrary, other authors are convinced that Sarkozy will concentrate on the realisation of the Pact and is likely to succeed. Cf. Andreas Maurer/Daniela Schwarzer: Der Schuss vor den Bug, SWP-Aktuell 62/2008, p. 6, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[48] Cf. Radio interview between Jürgen Liminiski and Eckart von Klaeden: Unionspolitiker zufrieden mit Mittelmeerunionstreffen, Deutschlandfunk, 14 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[49] Cf. WeltOnline: Sarkozy macht sich zum Friedensstifter, 14 July 2008, available at: (last access: 17 July 2008).

[50] Cf. Nikolas Busse: Anerkennung aus Deutschland, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13 July 2008, available at: (last access at: 16 July 2008).

[51] Cf. Süddeutsche Zeitung: Olmert: Frieden so nah wie nie, 13 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008); n-tv online: Zufrieden in der zweiten Reihe, 14 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[52] Cf. Eric Bonse: Sarkozy schafft sich Freunde am Mittelmeer, in: Handelsblatt, 14 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[53] Translated by the author. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, quoted according to a dpa message, Paris, 13 July 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[54] Cf. Handelsblatt: Paris verprellt Berlin mit Mittelmeer-Union, 6 February 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[55] Cf. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Sarkozy: Freundschaft verewigen, 31 January 2008, p. 7.

[56] Translated by the author. Cf. Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an interview with the Agyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, 23 April 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[57] Cf. e.g. Financial Times: Merkel rebuffs Sarkozy on Mediterranean Plan, 31 January 2008.

[58] Cf. Press statements of Merkel and Sarkozy, Hannover, 3 March 2008, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[59] Cf. Council of the European Union: Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 13/14 March 2008, 20 May 2008, p. 20, available at: (last access: 16 July 2008).

[60] Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion DIE LINKE, Bundestagsdrucksache 16/8557, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008). See also the answer of the federal government: Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion DIE LINKE – Drucksache 16/8557 –, Bundestagsdrucksache 16/8713, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008).

[61] Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion der FDP, Bundestagsdrucksache 16/9174, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008). See also the answer of the federal government: Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Fraktion der FDP – Drucksache 9174 –, Bundestagsdrucksache 16/9316, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008); Alexander Graf Lambsdorff: Europäischer Auswärtiger Dienst – alle Fragen offen!, press release, 27 May 2008, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008).

[62] Michael Stübgen (CDU): Europäischer Auswärtiger Dienst muss bei der EU-Kommission angebunden werden, press release, 24 April 2008, available under: (last access: 23 September 2008).