Parliament members for Germans abroad?!
Our member, Ulrike Franke, Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, supports the idea that German nationals living outside Germany should be represented by their own parliamentarian candidate(s). Simply, these members of parliament for ‘exiled’ Germans would be in a better position to understand the needs and challenges of Germans abroad than those elected to Bundestag under the present electoral system. Therefore change is needed, says Ulrike and points out the French system as an example. Her article was published recently in FAZ Magazine.
Comment: Free movement and migration
In his essay ‘Free movement and migration‘ for the Federal Trust, Dr Hywel Ceri Jones provides an insightful and challenging summary of the free movement policy between European states. Supported by an in-depth analysis of individual migration policies he observes a misleading interpretation of EU rules. Free movement rests on Article 48 and 49 of the EU’s founding Treaty of Rome in 1957, which the UK accepted when it joined the EEC in 1973. These articles are embedded in the present EU Treaty in its Article 45 (3). He observes that in practice, the UK has been able to pursue a managed migration policy to fit its needs.
In the debates during the referendum Dr. Jones saw the ‘toxic bundling’ of legal and illegal migration, asylum seekers and the global refugee crisis, when there was no distinction made between reciprocal rights of EU citizens to work and study abroad and the migration resulting from wars and humanitarian crises.
Comment: Brexit and the Withdrawal Bill: A Multi-Player Game?
The Federal Trust published the article ‘Brexit and the Withdrawal Bill: A Multi-Player Game?’. Dr Andrew Blick describes in a perspicacious view the British decision-making process of the Brexit negotiations. His article provides a path of clarity in the jungle of complex interconnected British players surrounding the ongoing discussion. In addition, Dr Blick discusses different potential scenarios of party behaviour and wide variety of outcomes for the final Withdrawal Bill.
Brexit and the German economy
German industrial companies prepare for a hard Brexit. The Federation of German industries (BDI) warned that German firms must prepare for the worst-case scenario of a very hard Brexit (1, 2). The current bilateral trading volume between Great Britain and Germany is at 170bn EUR with direct investments of 140bn EUR and 400k people employed in German firms in Great Britain. Germany and Great Britain have strong economical ties. Any form of Brexit (soft or hard) endangers not only existing investments of firms from both sides but also make future investments less attractive. Several project groups from Germany and the EU in Brussels are analysing actual and potential problems for companies facing Brexit.
A comprehensive trade and economic agreement is unlikely to achieve until 30th March 2019. Also, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce
warns that businesses need clarity what happens after March 2019. It is questionable, how a transition period of 2 to 3 years, as mentioned by Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence, would work for businesses in the United Kingdom and EU (3, 4).