Sometimes sensational news is still lost, regardless of all social networks. Like the following words from Union faction leader Friedrich Merz at the traditional Arthur F. Burns dinner of the international journalist programs that, given the world situation, a common European “nuclear capacity is our life insurance”. There should be “no more taboos”.
The Christian Democrat, also leader of his party, responded to a repeated offer by France to the other countries of the European Union to start a dialogue on nuclear deterrence.
Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune, a close adviser to President Emmanuel Macron, recently said in Berlin: “President Macron’s proposal is still on the table,” adding that “we believe the French nuclear deterrent is a way to protect European interests”.
The debate on this – which Macron unsuccessfully initiated in 2020 – must “still be held”. At the time, Macron was contradicted by the then Defense Minister and CDU Federal Chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Even now there is contradiction, at least skepticism. Security experts, including those in the CDU, point out that the 24-Treaty regulating German unity expressly excludes the possession, manufacture and disposal of NBC weapons. Also, participation in a nuclear capability would require even more money for defense than 2 percent of GDP annually.
During her tenure, Kramp-Karrenbauer also suggested a joint aircraft carrier project with France. If Europeans want it, this could be expanded to include a joint nuclear option. Obviously, Merz now wants to steer the considerations in this direction, especially given that the outcome of the next election in the USA will not necessarily mean a strengthening of the transatlantic forces. This has to do with developments in the USA: Former President Donald Trump , who is keeping open a new candidacy, is known to be critical of the North Atlantic Pact. He is also much more critical of security policy obligations towards Europe than incumbent Joe Biden.
More on the Ukraine war on Tagesspiegel Plus:
New column by Sawsan Chebli: Plea for a peak of humanity
Merz, on the other hand, is a transatlantic expert. He was chairman of the “Atlantic Bridge” for ten years and worked for a long time for an American company, BlackRock Inc. This is an international US investment company. Its registered office is in New York. With over $10 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock is the world’s largest firm in this market.
The CDU leader explained his idea of a “European nuclear protective shield” with the following analysis: “None of us knows how the US presidential elections in 2024 will turn out and whether promises of protection will then continue to apply. A nuclear capacity is our life insurance that we cannot do without.” Germany ignored Macron’s offer during his first term in office: “In the light of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, it is now time to finally take up this thread seriously and also to achieve a result to lead.”
In addition, Merz urged “that we reform our national parliamentary scrutiny for multinational operations”. Anyone who wants an integrated European task force that is not just a political gesture, “but a real military resource” must create the necessary conditions at national level. Another topic that will cause a stir, at the latest when the initiative has made it into the Bundestag as a motion.