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German Vice-Chancellor suggests France give up UNSC permanent seat to EU

IANS  |  United Nations 

Adding a controversial new element to the stalled (UNSC) reform process, German has proposed that should give up its permanent seat to the (EU).

Scholz's proposal -- if Bonn follows through with it - would mark a break from the joint stand has taken with India, and for increasing the number of permanent seats on the

The group of the four countries known as G4 has been a leading voice for reforms and the members also mutually support each other's claims to permanent seats.

To enable the EU to "speak with one voice", Sholz said in on Wednesday: "France's seat on the Security Council could be converted into a seat for the EU."

Neither German nor has the publicly endorsed his proposal.

The has not formally reacted to the proposal, but its in Washington, dismissed it.

"This is legally impossible because it is contrary to the Charter of the UN. The change would be politically impossible," he tweeted.

In his speech, Scholz, who is also the Finance Minister, focused on European unity and enhancing its clout -- an issue of importance since the US under is retreating from its traditionally robust global role.

He cited Trump's decision to back out of the Agreement on climate change and said: "We have to move forward at the European level if we are going to have an impact as a global influencer."

He called for "a common foreign policy approach" and said: "The EU should also speak with one voice in the "

This could be achieved by turning over France's seat to the EU and "in return, would then have the right to appoint the EU to the in perpetuity", he added.

He acknowledged that "this might require a little persuasion work in Paris, but it is a bold and shrewd goal".

A translation of the speech at was posted on the website of the German

While Araud was right that giving the French permanent seat to the EU would be against the UN Charter, so would adding new members Security Council unless it is amended.

Charter amendment would require the votes of two-thirds of the UN membership -- and other permanent members could veto the amendment.

When Britain leaves the EU next year, France will be the only permanent member from that bloc on the Security Council.

The permanent seats with veto powers were distributed among themselves by the five victors of World War II - Britain, China, France, the US and what was the and is now

with a far stronger economy with a gross domestic output of $4 trillion to France's $2.7 trillion has assumed a greater role in European affairs and sees itself as having a strong claim to a permanent seat.

(can be reached at and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 09:58 IST
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