Is This the Next Mister Europe?
When Jean-Claude Juncker’s term as president of the European Commission ends next year, his replacement might be Manfred Weber.
Weber announced his intention to run for the presidency on September 5, and five days later was assured that he has the support of the party he leads: the European People’s Party. The epp is the largest bloc in the European Parliament, and Weber is the early front-runner for the European Commission presidency.
The epp represents center-right parties including Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu). When the epp’s European Christian Democrats vote for their “top candidate” on November 7 and 8 at a convention in Helsinki, Finland, Weber is expected to be named.
Weber also has the support of Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and EU Budget Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. Yet few know who Weber is and what he might mean for Europe’s future.
When he announced his candidacy, Weber said, “The EU is challenged from the outside and attacked from the inside by radicals, nationalists and anti-Europeans. I believe I can help to kick-start a new beginning and a new chapter for Europe. This is urgently necessary, because we cannot go on the way it currently is.”
Europe is indeed experiencing a major turning point in its history. The euro crisis, the refugee crisis, the United States presidency of Donald Trump, and Brexit are forcing the European Union to radically adapt to the challenges.
To gain a glimpse of where Europe is heading, take a look at its upcoming leadership. Weber is a man to watch, because his policies square up exactly with Bible prophecy.
Is Manfred Weber the man to lead Europe into a new era?
“Weber hasn’t held national office before (he’s been an mep since 2004) whereas Commission presidents of the past and present are former prime ministers,” Politico commented.
French politician and Member of European Parliament Alain Lamassoure expressed his doubts early on about Weber’s candidacy. “Weber is a candidate for more or less everything,” he said. “Nobody, including Merkel, is going to support him for the Commission presidency job, because nobody knows him. We are not going to pull out of a hat an inexperienced German national who is completely unknown to almost all the members of the Council.”
Turns out, Lamassoure was wrong. Weber’s obscure identity has actually served as an advantage. For years, Weber was able to form connections in the EU without revealing much of his agenda. He rose to become the most influential German in Brussels with only few knowing his political makeup.
Unlike most others, Weber chose to join the European Parliament early on in his career. Many in his party of the Christian Social Democrats (csu) doubted his decision, since he was expected to achieve political success in his native Bavaria. But Weber had the bigger picture in mind. He claims to live by the motto of the late Franz Josef Strauss, who said, “Bavaria is our home, Germany our fatherland, and Europe our future.”
Weber is still affiliated with Strauss’s csu and represents that party in the European Parliament.
Besides Weber, it is difficult to imagine any other csu politician campaigning for the European Commission presidency. The csu takes a dim view of the institution, and the institution takes a dim view of the party. The party has had a decades-long reputation of criticizing the EU and promoting German national interest. If anything, the party hopes to fundamentally change the EU to become more of a political union and to more closely align with Germany. To be a success in the csu, one almost inevitably has to be a strong critic of the EU. But Weber’s somewhat mysterious political makeup helps distance him from his party’s criticism of those in Brussels and to gain their trust.
Despite Germany’s economic and political power in the EU, only one German has held a European presidency, and that was decades ago. Today, more than 70 years after World War ii, politics in Europe are still shaped by fear of German dominance. Thus, one of the strongest oppositions to Weber’s presidential candidacy will likely come because of his nationality. Politico wrote:
Mention Weber’s name as a potential epp [top candidate] and you get a variety of answers. On the plus side, he’s young (45) and his views chime with core conservative voters, particularly when it comes to migration. The downside? He’s German.
Many fear that a German EU president will inevitably turn the European balance of power over to Germany, which already holds enormous economic power. Other countries in the EU want to use the bloc to keep Germany in check. Granting one of the EU presidencies to a German could remove what few obstacles remain between Germany and absolute domination of the Continent.
Late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warned in 1995: “You have not anchored Germany to Europe. You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.”
However, Merkel’s 13-year chancellorship has significantly reduced fear of German dominance. Her support for Weber’s presidency should serve as one of his biggest advantages. In the leadership vacuum caused by Brexit and Trump, Germany faces its greatest opportunity to transform the Union to its liking. The rest of Europe knows that it cannot face its challenges without German leadership.
As World War ii drew to a close, Herbert W. Armstrong, editor in chief of the Plain Truth magazine, continued warning of Germany’s dominance in Europe. We summarized his warning in our free booklet He Was Right:
In World Wars i and ii, Germany and its allies had attempted to achieve global dominion by first conquering their European neighbors. In 1956, shortly after both of those German-led efforts had failed, Mr. Armstrong made a stunning prediction about a vital change Berlin would make in its next and final attempt: “[T]his time the [Germans] plan to sidestep the causes of past defeats. Instead of exhausting their own strength by holding European nations as captives at the expense of vital Gestapo manpower, they plan to head and dominate a UNITED STATES OF EUROPE—and add the manpower of those nations to their own military divisions” (June 1956; emphasis added).
A German at the head of the EU will not only increase Germany’s dominance in Europe, it will also greatly advance its ambitions of a common European army.
A European Military
One of Weber’s top priorities has been creating a Common Defense Union for Europe. He said that, next to the euro, the European army has to be the next biggest development in Europe. In a 2017 interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Weber said that a European military would come into existence “faster than many believe,” saying:
In the moment, we are still talking about small segments. But if we are going to ensure order in the Mediterranean through European missions or fight against terrorists in Africa, then we will also have more European decisions. And then European soldiers will actually be sent into their missions by the European Parliament.
If he wins the European Commission presidency, Weber might have the chance to make his personal priority the European Union’s priority. Previously, such plans have been vehemently opposed by Britain. But in post-Brexit days, these opinions don’t matter to Weber any more. He doesn’t “care about the city of London’s interests,” as he said in a bbc Radio 4 interview in March 2017.
The idea of a common EU army has been floating through the EU for decades. Though major strides have been made, a political breakthrough to allow a truly consolidated military has remained elusive. The greatest concern for a common European military was the fear that it would be dominated by Germany. But a German president of the Commission would have no such concerns.
Prior steps that have been made by former EU presidents will significantly help Weber achieve his goal.
To solve the mystery around Weber, we also have to look at his upbringing. Referring to Weber’s candidacy, the Catholic news website domradio.de published an article titled “A Bavarian and a Catholic for Europe?”
Under the subhead “Shaped by Catholic Rural Youth,” the article recounted how a classic Catholic upbringing almost inevitably leads one to the csu. It was true for Weber, who joined the Bavarian State Parliament from 2002 to 2004 and who was also state chairman of the Young Union Bavaria from 2003 to 2007.
“But then Weber deliberately decided on a different path,” the article recounted. “At 32, he became a member of the European Parliament. As a young man, he went where, one thought, that German parties sometimes send only discarded politicians.” Though Weber made a conscious decision to go to Europe early on, he did so with his Catholic homeland and upbringing in mind:
But for him the sentence summoned by Franz Josef Strauss counts: “Bavaria is our home, Germany our fatherland, Europe our future.” Already in 2006, he become the epp-ed Group’s spokesman on internal affairs and a member of the Group’s Bureau, which he will took over in 2014.
As much as he enjoys working for Europe, he feels so rooted in his homeland, which also includes being Catholic.
Weber allows his Catholic faith to continually guide him. On his website, he confesses: “Weekly services are not a duty for me, but an asset.” He is a member of the National Committee of Catholics in Bavaria and the Central Committee of German Catholics. Weber also presides over the circle of friends of the Benedictine abbey of Rohr, with the famous Ascension Altar by the brothers Asam.
“Incidentally, the name Manfred comes from the Alemannic and means something like ‘man of peace’—not a bad approach for Europe,” Domradio concluded.
His nationality and religious faith will largely affect the EU. Referring to scriptures in Revelation 13 and 17, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the November 1996 Trumpet: “The Catholic Church is going to unite and then guide the European Union, or the king of the north—with Germany as the real power behind it.” A staunch Catholic German at the head of the organization would help lead to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
A Defender of Culture
In the interview with Die Welt, Weber also declared his goals for a European “guiding culture” (Trumpet translation throughout):
The EU is at a historic moment. Either Europe will grow up or we will not be able to defend the European way of life in the globalized world. To this end, we must now build a strong, capable Europe. We need to see ourselves more as Europeans, to build an awareness of our European identity. Today, it is no longer a question of a guiding German culture but a guiding European culture.
This goal is rooted in history. It was Charlemagne in the eighth century who spread united Europe for the first time under one culture. Often called the “father of Europe,” Charlemagne laid much of the groundwork of Europe’s culture today.
“[His work] laid the foundations for the complementary concepts of Christendom and Europe,” writes historian Paul Johnson. “It projected, in broad outline, the directions which European institutions and culture would take. And it determined in embryo many of the aspects of the world we live in now. We are right to regard the total Christianity of the Carolingian age as one of the great formative phases of human history.”
But Charlemagne did not create a culture of peace and unity among different living faiths with a guiding culture. He expanded his empire through war and preserved it through a dominating culture. Our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy explains:
To many, the image of an enlightened ruler promoting culture and education for all seems incompatible with a violent warrior converting thousands by the sword. But Charlemagne’s example teaches us an important lesson: Culture and peace do not always go together. Modern Europe may appear to be a cultured and sophisticated group of nations. But as history reveals, that does not mean it is immune to Charlemagne’s style of violence.
In fact, part of the reason Charlemagne worked so hard on education was because of his conquests. He needed trained clergymen to teach his new subjects the Catholic religion. All the new churches needed new books, which required more experts.
But as Mr. Armstrong said after World War ii, Germany does not intend to conquer Europe militarily but politically. The same is true for its culture. The Holy Roman Empire has a vision of spreading its culture around the world, but first Europeans have to define their culture.
Hard on Brexit, Hard on Trump
In the interview with Die Welt, Weber said concerning the Brexit negotiations: “Our priorities are clearly defined. We want to talk about money first. If you leave, you must pay your bills.” Last August, Weber said that he saw a “hard Brexit” becoming more likely by the day. Under his leadership, we can expect Europe to take an even harder stance in the Brexit negotiations.
We can also expect a harder stance against the United States of America under President Trump. As head of the epp, Weber has boldly opposed President Trump’s trade threats. Rather than giving in to his demands, Weber calls on Europe to unanimously oppose them. A divided, fearful Europe will lose in a looming trade war. Europe needs leadership that is able to inspire unity and confidence among its member states. Weber has such leadership.
TheTrumpet.com has long warned that Europe would break from America. To learn more about this, read “The Significance of Germany’s Break From America.”
A Friend of Guttenberg and Kurz
Weber is also a close friend of former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Ever since Guttenberg resigned in 2011 due to his plagiarism scandal, Weber has remained in close contact with him. The two meet repeatedly to “exchange ideas.” Before Guttenberg resigned, he was seen by many as Germany’s next chancellor. We at the Trumpet still believe that Guttenberg will be the man who will lead Europe to its prophesied destiny. Request our free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.
Weber’s political ideology closely aligns with Guttenberg’s. A Weber presidency would significantly ease Guttenberg’s rise.
Weber is also strongly supported by Sebastian Kurz, who currently holds the European Council’s rotating presidency and is rising as one of Europe’s most influential politicians. The two have very similar views on the migrant issue and on a stronger, more united Europe. Both made promises to protect Europe from the upcoming threats, especially that of the refugee crisis.
Together, Weber, Kurz and Guttenberg would be an incredible team of staunch Catholics who could play a crucial role in resurrecting the Holy Roman Empire. That resurrection has already begun, but with Weber at the head of Europe’s most powerful institution, an even stronger revival would begin. Read “The Holy Roman Empire Goes Public—Big Time!” by Gerald Flurry to learn where this resurrection is heading.