Mark Rutte has suffered the same fate as his closest ally in Europe, Angela Merkel. Both center-right leaders moved to the middle in a bid for centrist voters only to leave a gap on the right that the far right has filled.
In midterm elections on Wednesday, the Dutch Freedom Party and Forum for Democracy won a combined 21 percent of the votes, their best result to date.
In Germany, support for the Alternative is down a few points in the polls but still at 11-14 percent. Merkel’s Christian Democrats fell from 41.5 to 33 percent between the 2013 and 2017 elections. Read more
Germany’s Merkel Installs Favorite as Successor
Angela Merkel has put Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the former prime minister of Saarland, on track to succeed her as chancellor of Germany.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, a relative moderate, defeated the more right-wing Friedrich Merz with 517 to 482 votes at a congress of their Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Hamburg. Read more
Eurozone Budget Could Take Years
The Financial Times reports that Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have made a “breakthrough” on eurozone reform: the French and German leaders agree the currency union should get its own budget.
The move is good news for the French president, who has long believed that giving the single currency area its own resources will make it more resilient to economic crises.
But it is unlikely to come into being any time soon. Read more
Everything You Need to Know About Merkel Stepping Down as Party Leader
German chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she will not seek reelection as leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in December in the wake of disappointing state election results in Bavaria and Hessen.
How will this affect the remainder of her chancellorship? Who could replace her? And what, if anything, does it mean for Europe? Read more
Christian Democratic Lawmakers Rebel Against Merkel
Christian Democratic (CDU) lawmakers in Germany have rebelled against Chancellor Angela Merkel by picking a relatively unknown as their group leader.
Volker Kauder, a close Merkel ally who had led the CDU in the Bundestag for thirteen years, lost in a secret ballot to Ralph Brinkhaus, his deputy. The vote was 112 to 125.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that party leaders did not see the revolt coming. Bild calls it a “spectacular defeat” for Merkel. Die Welt argues that her authority has been “badly damaged”. Read more
Merkel Breaks with German Tradition in Seeking EU’s Top Job
Angela Merkel has broken with German tradition by endorsing a fellow German for the EU’s top job: the presidency of the European Commission.
Merkel supports Manfred Weber, the group leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), as Spitzenkandidat for the European Parliament elections in 2019.
Given that the EPP is, and will most likely remain, the largest bloc, Weber’s election is almost a foregone conclusion. Read more
Macron, Merkel Agree on Eurozone Reforms
German chancellor Angela Merkel has met many of French president Emmanuel Macron’s demands for eurozone reform during a meeting in Meseberg outside Berlin. Read more