Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sees opportunities for an agreement in the dispute over the future of cars with combustion engines. The talks between the federal government and the EU Commission are "on the right track," said Scholz on Thursday when he arrived at the EU summit in Brussels. At the same time, the Chancellor made it clear that he saw the ball in the Brussels field.
There is "a clear understanding in Europe" on combustion cars and a "consensus," he emphasized. This includes the authority of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposing a regulation “that ensures that after 2035 vehicles that are operated exclusively with e-fuels can continue to be registered,” emphasized the Chancellor.
"Now it's really just a matter of finding the right way to implement this commitment, which the Commission has long since given, in a very pragmatic way," added Scholz. With a view to von der Leyen and her commission, he advised: "It is always right to keep one's own promises." Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) surprisingly vetoed the prepared EU decision at the beginning of March.
Several EU countries made serious accusations against Germany at the summit: "It's disturbing when a government suddenly goes into reverse after initial approval," said Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins. "This is a very difficult sign for the future." Karins warned of damage to the complicated architecture of decision-making in the EU if the German example sets a precedent.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that he would put pressure on Scholz on this issue: "Most countries say we have cleared this hurdle and cannot simply change course," he emphasized with regard to the agreed end of combustion engines.
The Luxembourg head of government, Xavier Bettel, warned against giving German demands too much space at the summit: "We have an agenda, and it's not a request concert when we come to Brussels," emphasized Bettel. Officially, the combustion engine off is not on the agenda.
"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.