Merkel says Germany, France plan to closely cooperate in critical times

Merkel says Germany, France plan to closely cooperate in critical times

Merkel says Germany, France plan to closely cooperate in critical times

The new French president, Emmanuel Macron, and German chancellor, Angela Merkel, have broken with previous statements by saying they would be prepared to look at changing European Union treaties in order to allow a further integration of the Eurozone, according to the Guardian.

Some of the reforms Macron has floated include the creation of a finance minister for the eurozone, a shared budget and EU-wide social insurance.

His push for reforms aimed at combating unemployment in the country comes "not because Europe requests it, but because France needs it", Macron said.

Asked if she was anxious that Mr Macron's push for a "Buy European Act" could undermine the established order of free and open trade, Ms Merkel said: "In trade relations, for example, I see this element of reciprocity, this is something I can very well imagine".

Germany was also ready to partner with France in seeking more cooperation in defence policy and a more coherent European foreign policy that could "make Europe more visible" and stronger, she said.

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Dr Merkel's approach underlined her view that it was crucial not only for France, but for Germany, to help Mr Macron succeed - a point that she has repeatedly stressed. Monday's meeting was an effort to inject some dynamism into the partnership.

Speaking of the widespread reforms suggested by Macron she said it may be possible to change European Union treaties as would be required to enact them.

"In the past, the subject of treaty change was a French taboo".

France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, has called for a "historic reconstruction" of Europe, saying it is "the only reaction" to fight populism. "Macron!" and waving European flags.

Merkel's declaration that she is open to major changes in the union is a sign that she is aware of the rise in populism - especially the right-wing Alternative for German Party - and the need for a shake-up of her beloved EU.

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His appointment was seen as a strategic move by Macron, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his new centrist party, the République en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM), having already won over dozens of moderate Socialist MPs. The president, a 39-year-old former investment banker, said he did not support the idea of so-called Eurobonds, which could allow euro zone countries to issue debt jointly, with some benefiting from lower risk premiums thanks to Germany's creditworthiness. "I am not in favour of collectivising debts of the past".

Fuchs said Macron, who defeated populist candidate Marine Le Pen on May 7, will be a stronger advocate of European Union integration than his predecessor, Francois Hollande.

On Macron's first official visit to Berlin just 24 hours after being inaugurated, both leaders on Monday expressed their commitment to do everything they can to improve the rapport between the two capitals to, in Macron's words, achieve an "historic new foundation" for the EU, Efe news reported.

The visit to Germany marked Macron's first foreign trip after his inauguration on Sunday, continuing a tradition of French presidents making their first worldwide trip to Germany.

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