1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Germany's Scholz seeks strengthening EU competitiveness

March 16, 2023

At the German parliament, the chancellor presented Berlin's position before an EU summit next week in Brussels, saying competitiveness was the "prerequisite" for economic success.

Deutschland | Bundestag Bundeskanzler Scholz Regierungserklärung Zeitenwende
Image: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/picture alliance

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday delivered a government address to the German parliament, the Bundestag, ahead of next week's EU summit. 

"Now is not about nostalgically mourning a 'good old time' when so much was — supposedly — better," Scholz said. "Now it's a matter of us setting out together and getting down to work so that a 'good new time' becomes possible — here with us in Germany and in Europe as a whole." 

Leaders of the bloc's 27 member states are due to meet on  March 23-24 to discuss further support for Ukraine amid the Russian war, as well as Europe's economic and energy issues. 

Scholz said he would seek to strengthen single markets and competitiveness in the EU through a series of reforms to be discussed next week in Brussels. 

"In this context, it is crucial to promote climate-friendly investments and innovations in Europe even more strongly and in a more targeted manner," he told lawmakers in Berlin. 

Scholz noted that some changes were needed, including the completion of the capital market and banking union.

"Our competitiveness is the prerequisite for economic success," he said. "And our competitiveness is the prerequisite for Europe's future as a geopolitical actor."

What did Scholz say about EU support for Ukraine?

The German chancellor said he expected EU leaders to take further steps to supply Ukraine with ammunition.

Scholz said the goal of EU leaders must be to "achieve an even better, continuous supply" of ammunition, adding that Germany is prepared to "open up its procurement projects to other member states."

"Together with our European partners, we will continue to ensure that Ukraine receives weapons and equipment to hold out and defend itself," Scholz said.

Germany will continue to support Ukraine "politically, financially, humanitarian and with weapons [...] for as long as it is necessary," he said, noting that Berlin has so far contributed a total of €18 billion ($19 billion) in support of Ukraine.

The EU will also continue to implement its sanctions against Russia and ensure that those sanctions are not evaded via third countries, Scholz said.

Russian ammo shortage obvious on all fronts: DW analyst

What else is on Thursday's Bundestag agenda?

Later on Thursday, German lawmakers were due to discuss other issues, including subsidies for a 49-euro public transport ticket and funding for Germany's 16 states to expand daycare facilities.

The Bundestag was also expected to vote on ending a ban on blood donations from men or trans women who have sex with men.

fb/rc (AFP, dpa) 

While you're here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.