Angela Merkel has recently voiced her support for a joint European aircraft carrier. By this, she endorsed the idea of the Christian Democratic Union leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who replaced Merkel as the leader of CPU last year in December. The proposals included not only the aforementioned joint European aircraft carrier, but also a permanent seat on the UN’s Security Council. Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer etched out her vision as a response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for European Union reform. Her essay included a call for a stronger EU border force, a pan-European climate pact and a common market for banking.
In her essay, Kramp-Karrenbauer had noted that Germany and France were already working together on a future European combat aircraft and said that “the next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier” to underline the EU’s global security role. Merkel also backed Kramp-Karrenbauer’s thoughts on a single European seat in the UN Security Council, as Germany has for years campaigned for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council alongside the WWII victor nations the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.
Kramp-Karrenbauer also made some proposals that diverged from Macron’s vision, suggesting that the European Parliament should only sit in Brussels and remove its second seat in the north-eastern French city of Strasbourg. She also disagreed with Macron’s idea for Europe-wide coordination on minimum salaries, arguing that the “Europeanization of social services and the minimum wage would be the wrong way.” In the end Merkel, who has previously spoken in favour of greater European defence cooperation, pointed out that “it’s great that we have such equipment on the European side, and I’m happy to work on it,” but added that Europe does have other priorities on which it should focus for now.