The German Vice Chancellor said on Wednesday that he favoured France’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council being converted to a European Union (“EU”) seat. He believes that this will allow the EU to “speak with one voice.”
Olaf Scholz asserted, during a discussion on the future of Europe, held in Berlin, “If we are to take the European Union seriously, the EU should speak with one voice within the UN Security Council. In the medium term, France’s seat could be converted to a seat for the EU.” He is also the German federal Finance Minister.
Mr Scholz considered that, in return, the separate post of Head of the European Union Delegation, could be permanently returned to a Frenchman or woman.
The Vice Chancellor admitted that such a plan would not be easy to implement. He said, “I am, of course, aware that there is still a significant effort of persuasion necessary in Paris.”
The Finance Minister argued, “France and Germany are now acting together in this particular forum” but such a European seat will enable all parties to go further.
The debate in Germany around a European seat on the UN Security Council is fairly old in and of itself, but it has thus been started again in this spectacular way by the Finance Minister.
The proposal also appears to be a way for German leaders to respond to recurring criticisms, which they are subject to, around their timidity and their lack of boldness in proposals for relaunching the European project.