Sebastian Płóciennik – Poland-Germany: common challenges and interests

The end of Merkel’s era might have seemed to be something distant (if not unreal). But next month it will be over., Ms Merkel will cease to be a leader of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and in longer perspective also chancellor.

Wednesday’s session of Academy in.europa focused on the changes on German political scene. The participants of the academy had pleasure to discuss the topic with Mr. Sebastian Płóciennik, PhD, an expert of the Polish Institute for Foreign Affairs. The first part of the discussion focused on potential successors of chancellor Merkel. What should we expect? Continuation, being the result of election of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer or rapid turn to conservatism followed by the election of Jens Spahn or Fredrich Merz? This is an important question also for Poland. Mr Płóciennik pointed out that Mr Merz was an “traditional fan of trans-Atlantic relations”, whereas Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer  came from Saarland, in the country’s far West, from where “people do not see Poland”.  So can we conclude that breaking with Merkel’s tradition, would be paradoxically  better for our country?

During the debate Mr Płóciennik also tried to point winners and losers of current political changes in Germany. Mr Płóciennik stated that Social Democratic Party (SPD) was in extremely difficult position, whereas The Green Party profited from its weakness. But the biggest winner was, according to Mr. Płóciennik, Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party that benefited from mistakes made by CDU.

The current situation in the Euro-zone was also one of the topics of discussion. It started with the discussion of economic policy of Mr Schäuble, who was called by one of the German newspapers “the best chancellor we haven’t had”. Then Mr Płóciennik shared his ideas on currency reform and new economic ideas in the euro-zone.

We finished our discussion by analyzing Merkel’s future. Will she retire or rather find a new post in European structures?

The person responsible for moderating the meeting and preparing the abovementioned summary was Maciej Giers, participant of the in.europa Academy 2018.

In.europa Academy is as an educative initiative of the in.europa Institute, POLITYKA, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The European Commission Representation Office in Poland has the patronage on the Academy in.europa.