• Germany edition
 
Gauck seeks to quell Europe's German fears
Photo: DPA

Gauck seeks to quell Europe's German fears

Published: 22 Feb 2013 14:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2013 14:17 GMT+01:00

Joachim Gauck delivered an impassioned speech on Europe, his first since taking over the largely ceremonial German presidency 11 months ago, lamenting that its economic crisis had also hit confidence in its "political project."

Too many Europeans are left feeling without power and influence, he said adding he was concerned that Germany's role in Europe currently unleashed "scepticism and mistrust" in some countries.

As Europe has sought to overcome its financial crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the helm of Europe's biggest economy, has in particular been derided by protesters in struggling southern European nations angry over cuts and painful reforms.

"More Europe doesn't mean in Germany, a German Europe. More Europe for us means, a European Germany," Gauck said in his 50-minute pro-Europe address to the around 200 guests at the presidential palace Bellevue in Berlin.

"We don't want to browbeat others, or press our concepts on them. We stand however by our experiences and would like to convey them," he added recalling that less than a decade earlier Germany had been the "sick man of Europe."

Turning to Britain where Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants to renegotiate country's relationship with the EU and put the new terms to an in-out referendum by the end of 2017, Gauck said: "Dear English, Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish and new British citizens.

"We would like to keep you! We need your experiences as the country with the oldest parliamentary democracy, we need your traditions, your soberness and your courage," Gauck said.

"You helped with your deployment in World War II to save our Europe - it is also your Europe," he said to applause.

And Gauck, an activist pastor who hails from the former communist East Germany, outlined what Germany owed to Europe and the western Allies in getting back on its feet after 1945.

"We were spared at the time what could have easily followed after our hubris, an existence as an outcast stranger outside of the community of nations," he said.

AFP/mry

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:48 February 22, 2013 by Firmino
I for one welcome our new German overlords....
17:35 February 22, 2013 by wasserball
Insulting speech. The rest of EU serves Germany! Britain leaving the EU would be their mistake.
19:07 February 22, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
"We don't want to browbeat others, or press our concepts on them. We stand however by our experiences and would like to convey them," he added recalling that less than a decade earlier Germany had been the "sick man of Europe."

HOWEVER? In other words you agree that you are doing it anyway. Using the Euro at the expense of other Eurozone countries to make sure Germany does not become the sick man of Europe again. The rest of Europe and especially the countries with austerity imposed on them are sick of you.

Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde should be handed an iron cross by her bankster buddies.
19:13 February 22, 2013 by Laurence F
Germany stop apologizing in the context of the EU; we know the horrible things you have done during WWI an WWII. That is a separate matter and for that you should keep apologizing an helping those that you hurt, destroyed and crushed into dust.

What you could do for Europe in the economic front is promote Capitalism, Free Enterprise (not crony capitalism) and Property rights.

Get the EU (remember the Czech politician) that called the EU a Nazi based organization; out of the lives of the People. Take the German bureaucracy out of the lives of the German People. Leave the People alone and set them free.
22:25 February 22, 2013 by Englishted
@Laurence F

That was a party political broadcast on behalf of the tea party.
23:25 February 22, 2013 by sonriete
don't want to browbeat others or impose our concepts on them? Gauck needs to send that memo to Martin Schulz.
04:29 February 23, 2013 by AmericanMade
"we know the horrible things you have done during WWI an WWII. That is a separate matter and for that you should keep apologizing an helping those that you hurt, destroyed and crushed into dust."

Just like us Americans who must continue to pay the price for the sins of our ancestors. Exactly how long is enough?
07:15 February 23, 2013 by gorongoza
@ AmericanMade.

"Exactly how long is enough ?" The answer is very simple: Till your mentality changes - fullstop !
07:18 February 23, 2013 by dr.makni49
"You helped with your deployment in World War II to save our Europe - it is also your Europe," he said to applause...., it seems German president loves the spectre of wars more than any one else to recount the horrors at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today's headlines
Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport
Closed until further notice: Berlin's troubled new airport. Photo: DPA

Lightning rods further delay Berlin Airport

Too few lightning rods and an undersized emergency generator have prevented part of Berlin's new airport from opening. Safety inspectors refused to sign off on the airport's north pier, thwarting progress on the massively delayed construction project. READ  

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal
Photo: DPA

Two thirds of Berlin's tourist flats now illegal

Two thirds of Berlin's 12,000 tourist apartments advertised on sites such as Airbnb were being run illegally from Friday following a law change, leaving hosts open to potential punishment. READ  

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains
Fritzi underneath the train. Photo: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Unterschließheim/DPA

Lost goat halts Munich Airport trains

A lost pet goat called Fritzi halted trains to Munich Airport and had to be rescued from the tracks after suffering a concussion. READ  

Germany crowned U19 European Champions
Photo: EPA/Tibor Illyes HUNGARY OUT

Germany crowned U19 European Champions

Germany’s U19 football team added to a glorious summer of sport for the country by winning the European Championships in Budapest on Thursday night. READ  

World War I anniversary
100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak
August 1914. German soldiers march off to war in France. Photo: DPA

100 years ago, Germans celebrated war's outbreak

A hundred years ago on Friday Germany declared war on Russia and was preparing for an attack on France in the hope that Britain would stay neutral. Four years on, famine was ravaging the country and two million soldiers had been killed on the battlefield. READ  

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban
Photo: DPA

Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban

Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is encouraging lawmakers to hurry up and ban fracking in all but name, saying the process is too dangerous to even consider allowing. READ  

German of the Week
'Now I can grow cannabis at home'
Günter Weiglein. Photo: DPA

'Now I can grow cannabis at home'

Günter Weiglein is one of three men in Germany who is allowed to grow his own cannabis thanks to a court ruling last week. But he tells The Local he’s not celebrating just yet. READ  

Germany tops penis enlargement table
Do your wurst, doc. Photo: DPA

Germany tops penis enlargement table

Germany is the world’s leader in penis enlargements, with five times as many people in the country undergoing the procedure than anywhere else in the world. Globally, Germany carries out the fourth highest amount of cosmetic surgery operations. READ  

The Local List
The best words in Austrian German
Which one is the Austrian word for tomato? Photo: APA/dpa

The best words in Austrian German

If you’ve lived in Germany, or you learnt Hochdeutsch at school, you may be surprised by some of the language differences between Austria and parts of Germany. READ  

Turks in Germany vote for first time
Voters at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Turks in Germany vote for first time

Germany’s large Turkish community headed to polling stations on Thursday to vote for the first time in a Turkish election. The Local visits Berlin’s Olympic Stadium which has been turned into a giant voting booth. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: DPA
Society
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,296
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd