EU divided: France&Germany warned of serious repercussions over sidelining MEPs on China

France and Germany 'taking charge of EU-China deal' says MEP

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Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have been warned against trying to dictate to the rest of the European Union over a trade deal with China. European Green Party MEP Reinhard Bütikofer has warned that any attempt by Paris and Berlin to force through the EU – China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) will place the European Commission very much at odds with European Parliamentarians. He also warned Merkel and Macron against appearing to be relegating EU states to the sidelines when it came to relations with China.

Mr Bütikofer told “The formal next step for CAI would be the signing off the deal, it hasn’t been signed it has just been concluded politically.

“That would need an initiative on the part of the commission asking the council for a mandate to do so.

“Maybe Merkel wants it, I don’t think it is probable that she will get it.

“Because that would not only much the Commission very much at odds with European Parliament, and the Commission does need the European Parliament.

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“It would also alienate other EU member countries that have been signaled by Paris and Berlin that somehow these two important capitols think that they should be in charge of China relations.

He added that France Germany would risk giving the impression that “everybody else would be relegated to the sidelines.”

“And should be clapping in admiration of Merkel and Macron,” added the European Green Party MEP.

Mr Bütikofer also argued that Ms Merkel’s departure as German Chancellor is likely to have a “major impact” on how Brussels handles Beijing.

France and Germany 'taking charge of EU-China deal' says MEP

He told that the German leader has long resisted an EU-wide approach that recognises Xi Jinping’s regime as a systemic rival.

Mr Bütikofer explained: “I think the departure of Mrs Merkel will have a major impact for the EU’s China relationship.

“Merkel is the one European leader who has resisted the analysis that we have to consider China and deal with China as a systemic rival.

“She has desperately tried to hold onto the win-win approach that is out of sync with the times

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“She has lost contact with the dire reality.”

The MEP continued: “A few years ago Merkel was indeed a very good leader in relations with China.

“She dared speaking up about human rights when others didn’t.

“So I admire her for a time but she is now clearly behind the curb and European China policy cannot be dictated from a single or just two capitals.”

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