French President Emmanuel Macron will hold talks with German politicians from across the political landscape today.
The meetings come following a scandal in the state of Thuringia last week, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union and far-right Alternative For Germany co-operated to ensure the election of Free Democratic Party candidate Thomas Kemmerich as state premier.
The Christian Democratic Union’s decision in Thuringia not only defied a party ban, but also the order of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer – the forerunner for Chancellor upon Merkel’s retirement. Kemmerich has since resigned, but the scandal showed cracks in the governing Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union coalition and forced the resignation of Kramp-Karrenbauer. With the remaining forerunners Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn leaning more towards the right, Macron may face stronger resistance to his ambitious EU reforms.
Though the coalition is still ahead in the polls, the Greens trailing only about 5% behind raises the possibility that they could regain government. Thus, it is unsurprising that Macron met with Greens leaders yesterday.
As the political landscape in Germany is set to change, expect Macron to focus on building the rapport with incoming leaders he needs to get his EU reforms through.
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Saira is an analyst in the Current Developments team, where she focuses her research on the Middle East and North Africa region.