Sie lesen aktuell unserer Archiv. Die aktuelle Webseite befindet sich unter:
You are currently reading our archive. The current webseite is located at:

IEP Lunch Debate with Martin Kotthaus: “Current Themes in European Policy”

Martin Kotthaus, Head of the European Direc­torate-General at the Federal Foreign Office, spoke on 3 June 2014 at the Repre­sen­tation of the European Commission in Berlin on the topic “Current Themes in European Policy.” Prof. Dr. Mathias Jopp, director of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP), moderated the event.

Martin Kotthaus began by speaking about the Ukraine-Crisis, which continues to dominate both European and German foreign policy. Kotthaus praised the Ukranian presi­dential elections as being “possibly the best, most free and democ­ratic elections [in Ukraine] in a long time according to the remarks of the OSCE.” With the estab­lishment of a legit­imate government the economic portion of the associ­ation agreement, the Deep and Compre­hensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), could soon be signed. Meanwhile the EU will continue to work together with the IMF along with others to remain engaged. Outstanding during the crisis was the unity with which the EU operated. However it is plausible that the topic will remain on the agenda for a while along with what long term effects the crisis will have on the EU’s relationship with Russia.

A further important theme was the European Parliament Election and its result. Kotthaus was happy about the stability in the voter turnout even though there were a few low outliers (only 13% voter turnout in Slovakia). Even so, the impor­tance of the EP Election still needs to be made clearer. The election can’t be seen as a “free shot.” Kotthaus spoke of the need for a revision of the European Voting Act of 1976 in order to standardize and modernize the rules for the election of European representatives.

Closely connected to the EP Election is the question of filling the European leadership positions. President of the European Council Hermann van Rompuy was mandated to consult with the European Parliament and member states to fill the position of the EU-Commission President. More important, however, are the topics that will confront the eventual office holders. Economic topics, such as compe­tition, growth and the creation of jobs must also have a priority next to the devel­opment of the Economic and Monetary Union, the topics of climate and energy, rights and freedoms and a coherent and strengthened EU foreign policy and neigh­borhood policy—also in financial and insti­tu­tional respects. It is important that the EU focuses on the essential topics—it is not about less Europe but rather a focused and better one.

By Joris von Moltke