Leading German politician calls for a United States of Europe by 2025

Elias Hubbard
December 7, 2017

Germany's second largest party SPD leader Martin Schulz on Thursday called for the transformation of the European Union into a United States of Europe by 2025 with a common constitution.

The reluctance of the rank and file does not bode well for Mrs Merkel's hopes of resuming the so-called grand coalition between her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left party.

"What are our possibilities, our options, our instruments for ensuring that Germany embraces these French ideas", Schulz said at an SPD conference in the party's Berlin headquarters.

"We must not govern at any price", Schulz said, adding that what was decisive for the SPD playing any role in a new Merkel-led government is that the party can implement its programme.

At a previously scheduled party congress Thursday, Schulz is seeking members' approval for a resolution approving talks on "whether and in what form" the Social Democrats can support a new government.

"We don't know if this coalition will happen".

Schulz said that if the SPD ends up again governing with Merkel, Berlin's stance on Europe would have to shift away from the austerity approach of Merkel and her former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. "There are good reasons against and some in favour".

On the issue of immigration, one of the main reasons for the collapse of Merkel's first attempt at a coalition, the SPD opposes a conservative plan to extend a ban on the right to family reunions for some accepted asylum seekers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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