Social Democratic leader (SPD) and new Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed this week on a historic three-way coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats. SPD EU negotiator in the coalition talks Udo Bullmann said the government would seek to deepen relations with Europe and suggested it would be easier because Brexit has been finalized.

He told German magazine Der Spiegel: “Germany must send a signal in which direction the German government wants the European Union to develop.

“We’re not downcast, we’re not looking back and we don’t have the shock of Brexit in our bones.

“We want to take courageous steps towards integration because we know time is running out and people are waiting for them.

The direction of the new regime also began to take shape after the appointment of co-leader of the Greens Annalena Baerbock, an ardent Europhile, as foreign minister.

The 40-year-old will help shape policymaking abroad and her ideas are already described as a model for the “United States of Europe”.

Speaking on Friday, Ms Baerbock said: “A strong German foreign policy can only be European”.

During the election campaign, Ms Baerbock said that if the Greens were victorious, her first trip abroad would be to Brussels.

The prospect of a “United States of Europe” has been looming for several years – and ever since French President Emmanuel Macron spearheaded the idea of ​​a European army.

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Meanwhile, the German coalition faces more immediate problems as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in the country and the discovery of a new mutated variant in Europe.

Germany recorded 76,000 new Covid infections on Friday – a record daily figure.

Ms Baerbock said mandatory vaccines and another lockdown could not be ruled out.

Belgium became the first country in the European Union to report a case of the B.1.1.529 variant, which has been identified in other places, including South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. .

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there was “huge international concern” about the strain.

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