Russia's conflict with Ukraine and a changing world order put to test the relationship between Paris and Berlin since a post-World War II treaty sealed their reconciliation six decades ago.
The win in the western German state of Saarland came despite the latest national surveys showing support for the SPD dipping, as Scholz faces criticism for his stance on Ukraine and pandemic management.
Social Democrat Scholz, who formed a coalition with the ecologist Greens and the liberal Free Democrats, has promised to boost green investment and strengthen European unity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a visit to the UK, says she is "very much concerned" about spread of the coronavirus when London hosts the semi-finals and finals of the European football championships.
Russia has built up troops along the border, raising fears of a major escalation in the long-running conflict in Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking east.
President Joe Biden has said the US' traditional allies should once again have confidence in Washington's leadership, in his first major international address on foreign policy.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told European allies that the US is prepared to talk to Iran about both countries returning to compliance with a 2015 deal that aims to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Moscow announced the expulsions just hours after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss ties.
Germany's Merkel and France's Macron say Europe must reform open-border Schengen area in light of recent terrorist attacks, in an online summit of continent's main leaders.
Angela Merkel also said on Monday she would step down as German chancellor at the end of her term in 2021.
Germany's junior coalition partners withheld immediate consent on the new migrant policy which will see transit centres near Austria's border; something Vienna has yet to agree on.
A row over how Europe handles immigration will dominate an EU summit. The issue has already helped populists gain power in Italy and is threatening German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.
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