Merkel and Macron agree to draw up roadmap to deeper European Union integration

Ivan Schwartz
May 19, 2017

"First we need to work on what we want to change, and then if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we're prepared to do that", she said.

"We can give the entire [European] construct a new dynamic", Merkel said, adding Europe could only progress with a "strong France" within.

This year, unemployment in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, should be around 4.0 percent, compared with 9.9 percent in France, according to the latest European Commission forecasts.

The German chancellor said she been "irked" ever since the signing of the Lisbon treaty by those who had written off treaty change: "The entire world is changing and we declare that we have exhausted ourselves once and that's it for our entire lifetime", she said.

"The German chancellor added that at the meeting with Macron, an agreement had been made to draw up a medium-term development road map for the European Union".

Macron also said he was opposed to mutualising "old debt" between eurozone countries but he was open to sharing future burdens.

There are also a number of skeptics within Merkel's government that have objected to Macron's closer integration calls, for fear of the possible aftermaths that Germany may have to offer "free rides" while suffering more threats on the job and security fronts. And on Monday, he appointed prime minister Edouard Philippe, a centre-right politician like Merkel, who is said to be fluent in German.

Le Pen's heavy electoral defeat has prompted soul-searching within the far-right FN with some blaming her commitment to quitting the euro zone for the outcome.

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"There is a common conviction that we cannot only deal with Britain's exit (from the EU), but instead that we must above all think about how we can deepen the existing European Union and especially the euro zone".

"Macron clarified his position, saying he did not want Eurobonds or the mutualisation of (eurozone) debt" said Demesmay, referring to the pooling of funding and the build up of previous loans.

Underlining the concerns over Mr Macron's proposals, Germany's biggest selling daily Bild warned ahead of the French leader's meeting with Dr Merkel that before seeking deeper European Union integration, "France must once again be at the same level as Germany politically and economically".

Macron also pointed out that there were "several areas" in which Paris and Berlin could start cooperating immediately, including on a "common asylum policy, posted workers and bilateral trade".

French President Emmanuel Macron has gathered his newly-named government for his first Cabinet meeting - an assembly that looks significantly different than its predecessors.

Some French political reporters said that Macron's office called their media organization to designate specific journalists who will be able to cover Macron's first trip outside Europe, scheduled in Mali on Friday.

Mr Macron is the conservative Mrs Merkel's fourth French president in almost 12 years as chancellor.

Other reports by GizPress

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