It’s a big moment for Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to end her 16-year stint at the head of government of the EU’s biggest economy. In this edition of Talking Europe, we speak to one of Angela Merkel’s close CDU party allies, German MEP David McAllister.
Despite close opinion polls – some of them predicting that the CDU/CSU alliance will drop into second place on September 26 – McAllister says he’s not concerned about the election result: “I’m very confident that in the end the CDU and CSU will be the strongest political force in Germany once again and we can lead the German government.”
Meanwhile, in the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for Europe to “stand by the people of Afghanistan”.
Speaking as Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, McAllister describes the military pullout from Afghanistan and lack of co-ordination by the United States with international partners as a “disaster”. He told FRANCE 24: “What has happened can’t be repeated. We need to draw lessons from this disaster. And there will have to be a very outspoken debate within NATO about how to avoid this in future.”
Germany’s election comes just weeks after deadly flash floods swept through huge swathes of western Germany – but clean-up operations look set to continue for some time yet, as our correspondent Anne Mailliet reports from the Rhineland. With the COP26 climate summit coming up in just a few weeks’ time, McAllister told FRANCE 24 that “the European Union is leading the global effort in fighting climate change”, but that “we need close international cooperation”.
Produced by Isabelle Romero, Perrine Desplats, Céline Schmitt and Yi Song.
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