He’s on the way out, and now he just looks bitter. Gerhard Schröder has today had a good rant at the EU in Die Zeit – see an article from EUObserver about it here. Now, I have written positively about how Schröder should have been willing to attempt a traffic light coalition etc. on these pages, and indeed as a social democrat hoped for the best for the SPD. But setting out to undermine the EU does no-one any good.

The facts do not even bear out what Schröder says about the EU. The most common complaint today about the EU is that it is not doing enough to combat unemployment in Europe. Oh, what has Schröder been trying to do in Germany? Combat unemployment as far as I can tell. So perhaps a decent attempt to work together on this matter might have helped out a bit?

On the stability pact: yes, Germany has had a tough situation. But it was Germany after all that had insisted on the rules in the first place.

Overall, the EU cannot possibly survive if its member states / heads of states just seem to have fun poking fun at it. Further, in this instance as ever, there will probably be no resolute reaction from the EU to put Schröder in his place. The EU is not meddling – it is a political institution that in many cases has endeavoured to put in place decent policies in the face of inadequacies of national governments.

OK, I fear Merkel may do the same. But I hope that Gerhard at least takes retirement from making jibes at the EU’s expense.

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