Social Dems urge German EU engagement

Dec. 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM

BERLIN, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Germany's opposition parties warned that European unity needed to remain intact or the nation could find itself isolated on the world stage.

Leaders of the Social Democratic Party said at their annual convention in Berlin the United States and other non-European nations were less engaged with Europe and the continent needed to band together in order to remain a factor.

"Twenty-seven individual opinions will be lost among worldwide noise in the years to come," the party's parliamentary leader, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told the convention.

The Social Democrats are concerned that Germany, with its lead role in the European Union, was not being sensitive to the opinions and needs of the other EU nations, Deutsche Welle reported Monday.

Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt echoed those concerns in his keynote speech. He said Germany risked becoming too isolated amid the current economic turmoil. He contended a united European Parliament is the best means of addressing the crisis, not unilateral moves by Berlin.

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