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The morning situation: what is the EU doing against the gas crisis?


Merkel, Macron and Co. are discussing the energy crisis - and the major conflict with Poland - at the EU summit. In Berlin, the coalition negotiations start at the traffic lights. And: what is Döpfner doing? That is the situation on Thursday.

Today we are talking about the EU summit in Brussels, at which heads of state and government discuss the energy crisis and the conflict with Poland.

We also deal with the start of the coalition talks - and the question of what Springer boss Mathias Döpfner is up to.

Merkel's last EU summit?


EU summit that

begins today

will be one of the most important in a long time

, because the heads of state and government have to deal with two threatening crises: On the one hand, there is the

energy crisis

, which is not least related to the throttling of Russian gas deliveries - and, second, it is an existential crisis for the future of the EU: the

conflict with Poland

, which is abandoning the rule of law and escalating the conflict with Brussels.

It could also be

Angela Merkel's last EU summit

- that depends on whether the coalition talks, which also begin today, progress so quickly that the next summit on 16./17.

December, Olaf Scholz can arrive as her successor.

Merkel has experienced and survived many European crises in her 16 years as Chancellor;

but these two will probably outlive their chancellorship.

  • "We're in tails": Europe is hopelessly divided over the way out of the crisis.

Poland's rule of law: the EU must act


Council President Charles Michel

would have

preferred not to talk about Poland today - but after the decision of the politicized Polish constitutional tribunal that EU law is partially incompatible with Polish law, the heads of state and government have no choice: the national Catholic PiS party is working had long been trying to subjugate the judiciary of the country;

now she has made it clear that she does not want to be hindered by the EU either.

But the EU cannot allow that to happen: a country that abandons the rule of law, violates the EU treaties and questions the primacy of European law is a threat to the entire Union.

The destruction of the European legal order from within

the heads of state and government cannot accept.

Now they will have to discuss how to bring Poland to a reason.

Unlike in Great Britain, there is an overwhelming majority for EU membership in the country, a Polexit is unpopular.

The EU Commission is already holding back billions of euros in corona aid, but now the question is whether the EU should soon apply the new rule of law mechanism;

this could hold back further EU funds.

The majority in Europe does not have a better means - a hard argument now begins with states like Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, which want a fundamentally different EU.

  • Poland's dispute with the EU: the verdict that could change Europe

The energy crisis and Nord Stream 2

The summit will also discuss what the EU can do to



record-high energy prices

: gas prices have quadrupled within a year and are threatening companies and private households. The crisis is also fueled by the fact that Russia has cut its gas supplies to Europe - apparently to force the

opening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

. Various EU countries have already announced that they will be providing financial support to private households and companies. Subsidies are also being discussed in Germany. The EU, on the other hand, is now planning a “tool kit”: It can allow member states to borrow more to finance such subsidies. The heads of state and government will probably also discuss the establishment of a strategic gas reserve - which, however, could be more helpful in the next crisis.

Greens boss

Annalena Baerbock



out clearly against a quick opening of Nord Stream 2: She does not want to be blackmailed by Russia. The certification is being checked by the Federal Network Agency, which concerns purely legal issues, namely the EU rules for unbundling gas production and gas transport - both are in fact in the hands of the Russian Gazprom Group.


political concerns

about Nord Stream 2 were justified, as is now evident: The Russian regime is using the new pipeline to make politics and is reducing deliveries via Poland and Ukraine.

The claims of the still-federal government that it was a purely economic project have finally turned out to be naive.

And the political support for the pipeline from leading politicians in the Federal Republic, in particular from Angela Merkel and former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, was a strategic mistake.

  • Reduced delivery volumes to Germany: The suspicious slump in the Russian gas pipelines

Traffic light: start of coalition negotiations


coalition negotiations to form a new government made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP


officially begin in Berlin this afternoon

- negotiations will take place in almost two dozen working groups on various topics, each made up of representatives from the three parties. The new government should be in office by Christmas, that is the goal. A big topic will be the

financing of

the plans, some of which have already been presented - the successor to Jens Weidmann as President of the Bundesbank will also be part of the game of poker.

By the way,

Nord Stream 2

can also become a

controversial topic


Because the SPD has always supported the pipeline, the Greens have fought them and the FDP tends to be against it.

One question for the negotiators is how they intend to support Ukraine if it comes under pressure from the new pipeline, as feared - the old federal government had promised that, but remained extremely vague.

Yesterday it became known that the SPD politician Bärbel Bas is to become President of the Bundestag - parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich was first in discussion;

but then it suddenly occurred that all important state offices would then have been in male hands.

And it doesn't look really good with the representation of women.

  • Role of top politicians in the traffic light alliance: The missing gender

Audio documentary about Angela Merkel

I would like to warmly recommend the new

audio documentary by SPIEGEL author Dirk Kurbjuweit about Angela Merkel

: None of my colleagues has dealt with the first woman Chancellor for so long, so intensively and critically - for more than 20 years he has accompanied her political Career, spoke to her often, accompanied her on trips at home and abroad.

"The Merkel Method" is an analytical biography, but also contains many original audio documents of the Chancellor.

The documentary will be spoken by Frank Arnold, it is now available on Audible - and you will find a free audio sample here.

  • The Merkel method - an audio documentary by Dirk Kurbjuweit

What's wrong with Mathias Döpfner?

My colleague Stefan Kuzmany pursues this question in an opinion that I recommend to you. Yesterday,

Döpfner turned to the Springer workforce via video about Julian Reichelt

- and on the one hand explained how Reichelt had provoked his expulsion, apparently with another affair and lies to the board of directors. On the other hand, Döpfner whispered about men whom he identified as the secret masterminds behind everything - and thus gave the impression that they did not solve a compliance case on their own responsibility, but rather fell victim to some dark machinations.

My colleague Kuzmany's analysis is based on the well-known WhatsApp message Döpfner sent to the writer Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, in which Döpfner swag in Pegida sound of a "new GDR authoritarian state" and journalists as "propaganda assistants".

What's going on there?

Kuzmany writes: »Mathias Döpfner sees himself and Springer and the whole country in a great defensive battle, surrounded by enemies.

And Julian Reichelt, the former war reporter with the cot in the office, was his soldier in the trenches.

He was his faithful creature. "

  • Mathias Döpfner: Publishers with a craze

Winner of the day ...

... is

Carsten Linnemann

, 44, a member of the Bundestag from Paderborn - and so far rather unknown to the very large audience.

But he is currently gaining popularity in his own ranks, and is even considered a candidate for the CDU chairmanship.

While there has been speculation about Friedrich Merz, Norbert Röttgen or Jens Spahn as favorites for weeks, the focus with Linnemann is also on an outsider.

Last weekend, the delegates of the Junge Union celebrated him stormily - while Merz was only lukewarm applauded.

In this piece, my colleagues Kevin Hagen and Veit Medick investigate the question of whether Linnemann - who, as head of the Mittelstands- und Wirtschaftsunion (MIT) heads one of the large associations in the CDU - could be the wild card in the race for CDU chairmanship.

The latest news from the night

  • Air force flies another attack on rebel organization TPLF:

    According to doctors, several civilians were injured in the bombing of the Ethiopian air force on the rebel organization TPLF.

    The UN is concerned

  • US drug agency approves mix of vaccines and other corona boosters:

    Booster vaccinations with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are now also


    in the USA.

    In addition, the FDA allows vaccines to be mixed

  • FC Barcelona also equips Ansu Fati with a billion-euro clause:

    The course for the future of the troubled FC Barcelona seems to have been set: the next top talent signed a long-term contract with Ansu Fati - with an insane release clause

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • Grace period for Chinese company Evergrande: Two days until the major real estate collapse

  • "A completely different world": Entering the Bundestag at 27 - how do you do that?

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  • Monetary policy: who now has a chance of succeeding Jens Weidmann

I wish you a good start to the day.

Your Mathieu von Rohr

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-10-21

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