• Germany's news in English
 

Gauck seeks to quell Europe's German fears

Published: 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)

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
July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'
An asylum seeker reception centre in Trier. Photo: DPA

July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'

More people applied for asylum in Germany in July than in any previous month on record, the Ministry for Immigration and Refugees announced on Friday. READ  

This Week in History
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII
Germans fleeing from eastern Europe after the Second World War. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII

Seventy years ago on Friday, a munitions depot exploded in the Czechoslovakian town of Ústí nad Labem. For the thousands of Sudeten Germans who lived in the town, the event was a death sentence. READ  

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'
In the center, Nazi lawyer Roland Freisler, who wrote laws that are partially still in existence today. Photo: German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons.

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'

Germany has made great efforts to purge legal system of remnants of Adolf Hitler's regime, but some laws still bear traces of the Nazi past. The Justice Minister wants to change this. READ  

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted
Netzpolitik published documents outlining the internal spy agency BfV's spy programmes and budget. Photo: DPA

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted

Update: Federal prosecutors announced on Friday they are suspending investigations of treason against 'digital rights' website Netzpolitik for 'the greater good' of upholding freedom of the press. READ  

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets
Munich Airport. Photo: DPA

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets

A newborn baby was found in a toilet in Munich airport on Thursday. Police so far have no clue as to who or where the mother is. READ  

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling
Photo: BVZ/Zoll

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling

A 50-year-old British woman is being held in custody in Munich on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two kilos of crystal meth out of Munich airport disguised as sweets. READ  

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape
Hate waiting in line at the Bürgeramt? There's a company that lets you pay to get the perfect appointment. Photo: DPA.

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape

Why waste time jumping through the hoops of German bureaucracy when you can pay someone else to take the hassle off your hands? A new Berlin company is offering to do just that - and it's got city officials fuming in the process. READ  

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it
A fan visits the makeshift Michael Jackson memorial in Munich. Photo: DPA.

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it

A memorial set up in Germany by some of Michael Jackson's most ardent fans the day after his sudden 2009 death has come under threat in a strangely emotional turf war. READ  

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei arrived at Munich airport on Thursday, greeted by his son and son's mother, filmmaker Wang Fen. Photo: DPA.

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei arrived in Munich on Thursday on his first overseas trip since he was arrested nearly four years ago, after Britain denied him a six-month visa because he did not declare a supposed "criminal conviction" on his application. READ  

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Regulations for women's parking spaces differ from state to state across Germany. Photo: JG-NF / Wikimedia Commons.

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?

Frankfurt Airport is one of many places in Germany to offer women their own 'bigger and nicer' parking areas. Is this sensible practice or plain sexist? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
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

7,196
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd