Merkel wants to rekindle European Union spark in first date with Macron
- Author: Leroy Wright May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 11:25
Germany, too, has supported greater defense cooperation, but not all European countries are on board - and it is not clear how such a new structure would work alongside US -dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Speaking alongside France's new President Emmanuel Macron, who made his first official trip overseas to Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the two countries agreed to work closely on a "road map" of reforms to make the European Union and the Eurozone stronger in the coming years.
"I'm delighted that together, we will be able to work on a common shared road map for the European Union and the Eurozone", Macron said. "We need more trust, much more trust and more specifically, results". "I will be an open, direct and constructive partner", Macron said.
"Our relationship needs more trust and more results", said Macron, adding that relations between Merkel and his predecessor Francois Hollande, were not especially close or productive.
"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France", Merkel said, as cited by AP.
The comments will come as a painful blow to British politicians and diplomats such as David Cameron, whose calls for a reform to free movement were repeatedly rebuffed with the argument that treaty change under his proposed timetable was off the cards.
Macron also urged a "historic reconstruction" of Europe in order to battle a surge of populism, after defeating far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
"This isn't malicious, but I can't have all the good sides and then say there's a cap of 100,000 or 200,000 European Union citizens, more aren't allowed into Britain - perhaps researchers as well, but no others, please", Merkel said.
Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon said that Philippe's appointment as premier showed the right had been "annexed" by the tentacular Macron.
The French leader said that "deep reforms" are required for the European Union that "need common work" from Paris and Berlin.
In his inaugural address, Macron vowed to restore France's place in Europe and the world. Macron wants to go a step further and create new joint European military structures.
"It will no longer be the case", Macron said, with Merkel affirming her commitment to rework the treaties where necessary, adding that she had been "irked" by those who said treaty change was not possible.
And, despite the smiles on Monday, Mr Macron has yet to prove himself.
The German media initially embraced Macron's victory, with headlines like "France says yes to Europe", "Macron wins it for Europe", and "No Frexit" greeting readers the morning after the election victory.
Germany, which as Europe's strongest economy has borne the brunt of bailouts for weaker eurozone members, is not thrilled by this idea. Europe's "Franco-German motor" has often worked best in the past when the leaders of opposite political persuasions have been in power.