• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Gauck seeks to quell Europe's German fears

The Local · 22 Feb 2013, 14:17

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.

Story continues below…

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
 'One dead and two injured' in Germany machete attack
News channel NTV said there were scenes of panic in the city centre following the attack. Photo: DPA

A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete Sunday in the southwest German city of Reutlingen in an incident local police said did not bear the hallmarks of a "terrorist attack".

Munich gunman planned attacks for one year: officials
Vigils continue in Munich to commemorate the victims, seven of whom were teenagers. Photo: DPA

The teenage gunman who killed nine people in Munich on Friday had been planning his attack for a year, according to German authorities.

Germany grapples with enigma of Munich gunman
A debate is already underway as to whether Germany's gun laws, which are already strict, should be tightened further. Photo: AFP

Investigators were seeking clues on Sunday into the mind of gunman David Ali Sonboly, the teen author of one of Germany's bloodiest killing sprees.

Munich shooting
 Social media a blessing and a curse in Munich shooting
The Munich gunman may have hacked a Facebook account to lure some of the victims to the McDonald's fast-food outlet where the shooting began. Photo: DPA

Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms.

Munich shooting
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Munich shooting
Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,782
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd