German Opposition Calls for New EU Course | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 19.06.2005
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Germany

German Opposition Calls for New EU Course

A day after the European Union summit unraveled following a bitter dispute over the 2007-2013 budget framework and the postponement of the ratification process for the Constitution, a leading German opposition politician called for a change of direction in the European Union, saying it was necessary to slow down hasty plans for enlargement. "We must finish with a policy of hasty enlargement, with the mania for ever more European regulations and ever more Brussels bureaucracy," said Edmund Stoiber, president of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to the conservative Christian Democratic Union. Stoiber, who challenged Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 2002 and is campaigning behind the CDU's Angela Merkel for a likely election in September, has been strongly critical of Berlin's path in Brussels, particularly in its support for opening accession talks to Turkey. Stoiber has also called for a revision of the EU Constitution, saying that important elements such as the charter of fundamental rights and rules for running the EU more efficiently should be extracted and put into a shorter and more limited treaty. However, both the opposition parties and the current government coalition of Social Democrats and Greens ratified the constitution in parliament.

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