Martin Schulz, former SPD leader and chancellor candidate for Germany, emphasised the necessity of establishing regular meetings, referred to as “structured dialogue,” to rekindle the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Mr Schulz, a prominent figure in German and EU politics, proposed these meetings as a means of bridging the widening gap between member states of the EU, its institutions, and the UK.
Speaking to The Observer, the German politician, who served as the president of the European Parliament from 2012 to 2017, highlighted the increasing distance between the EU and the UK over the past few years after Brexit.
He said: “The distance between the member states of the EU and the institutions of the union, and the UK, has increased during the last three or four years. Every day, it is a little bit more.”
He suggested that these structured dialogues should involve regular interactions between government officials and citizens to discuss shared policy concerns, even beyond the EU’s immediate scope.
During a two-day visit to London, Mr Schulz identified the need for the UK and the EU to draw closer not only on economic and institutional levels but also on cultural and youth levels.
He also claimed that a potential Labour government in the UK could pave the way for a more sustainable UK-EU relationship.
Addressing the issue of immigration, Mr Schulz stressed the importance of the EU and the UK working collaboratively to establish a “fair distribution” of incoming individuals. He acknowledged that achieving this required a deeper understanding and close cooperation between the two entities.
Mr Schulz further linked the failure to address immigration issues to the rise of the right-wing anti-migrant Alternative für Deutschland party, which has gained significant support in recent polls, surpassing 20 percent.
It comes as last week, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hinted at the possibility of the UK being readmitted to the EU in the future. Von der Leyen indicated that European leaders acknowledged their role in the Brexit outcome and suggested that the UK might reconsider its position.