Constantin Eckner

Are Germans losing faith in the European project?

Germans are increasingly losing faith in the European Union due to its bungled handling of the vaccine roll-out. Germany and the other member states have assigned Brussels to organise and oversee the procurement and distribution of Covid jabs. But, so far, the roll-out has been a logistic mess.

According to a poll by Civey, commissioned by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, more than 60 per cent of German citizens said their view of Brussels had worsened in light of the disastrous vaccination management. Almost 70 per cent laid the blame at the feet of fellow German Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, who admitted last week that ‘mistakes were made’ in the bloc’s approach to the procurement of jabs.

‘The criticism of the EU comes from all political camps,’ Der Spiegel noted. ‘Among supporters of the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left, more than half said that their image of the European Union had deteriorated. The proportion was even greater for supporters of other parties.’ Remarkably, even the majority of Christian Democrats blame von der Leyen personally for the botched vaccine roll-out. She has been a leading Christian Democrat for two decades and served in several of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinets before going to Brussels.

The results underline the fact that Germans are less and less concerned about the success of individual parties in this election year, despite there being important state elections in the spring and the general election in September. Amid the ongoing lockdown, which includes the closure of restaurants and most shops and schools, they simply demand a quick path back to normalcy no matter what it takes. As of this week, 4.4 million Germans have received a Covid vaccine shot – only 5.3

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