The German conservative CDU and CSU parties have backed current Social Democrat Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to replace Joachim Gauck as Germany’s president in February, paving the way for him to take up the position without a serious challenge, Deutsche Welle reports.
With Steinmeier leaving the position as the top level diplomat in Germany, only Martin Schulz (Socialist) could replace him, according to German newspaper Heute. The German socialist troika formed by Gabriel (current Vice-chancellor, aiming to run for Chancellor next election), Steinmeier and Schulz are targeting top level positions in Germany.
Schulz’ mandate as President of the European Parliament will come to an end in January 2017. There is an agreement between the two main European political parties EPP and PSE about the turnover for the presidency. The main obstacle for the respect of the agreement is to find a good way out for Schulz. Many EU politicians, including President of the European Commission Juncker, wouldn’t have minded to see again Schulz leading the EU’s legislative body.
Now with Schulz potentially going back to Berlin, if confirmed, things could dramatically change, opening the way to the competition for the EU Parliament’s top position.
The position should go to the centre right European People’s Party: with, in pole position, Italian MEP and Vice-President of the Parliament Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia), followed by Alain Lamassoure (France) and Mairead McGuinness (Ireland).