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The Chancellor in Paris

Finding common paths for Europe

By June, Germany and France aim to achieve an agreement in principle on eurozone reform, and on matter such as the EU’s asylum policy. When she met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "We must achieve results by June."

Angela Merkel's first foreign trip after her re-election took her to Paris. Angela Merkel's first foreign trip after her re-election took her to Paris Foto: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Chancellor Angela Merkel declared her determination to work with France to forge ahead with reform of the European Union. A common approach, she said during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, "is more necessary than ever, because Europe must stand together given the current geopolitical situation in which multilateralism is under pressure". "Europe must be a role model," she added, and act in concert to resolve worldwide crises.

"We can do it," says Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel assured Emmanuel Macron that she was ready to cooperate closely. "We want to identify common paths. In Franco-Germany history this has always been successful when we have worked honestly and hard."

But the Chancellor also implied that not all of Macron’s proposals met with agreement. "We are not always automatically of the same opinion." In their history, however, Germany and France have launched a great many things together. "I am determined that we should achieve this too – and I believe we can achieve it."

Traditionally, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first foreign trip after her re-election takes her to Paris. Today’s meeting with President Emmanuel Macron is an expression of the strong bond between Germany and France.

New impetus for Europe

The exchange of views over dinner also served to prepare for next week’s European Council meeting. On the agenda: post-Brexit budget planning and the elections to the European Parliament in 2019. Parallel to the leaders’ meeting, Federal Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

At the end of last year President Macron gave a speech in front of university students in which he called for a reform of the EU institutions and made initial proposals. Because of the length of time needed to form a new government, Germany has not yet put forward its own plans. This is now to change, the Chancellor has said in several interviews.

Elysée Treaty to be taken to the next level

In the 56th year following the conclusion of the Franco-German treaty of friendship in 1963, the two government have decided to further develop the Treaty. Work is ongoing on a new treaty for the 21st century, and should be finalised before the end of the year.

Freitag, 16. März 2018