‘Historic reconstruction’ of Europe – Call from France’s Macron

‘Historic reconstruction’ of Europe – Call from France’s Macron: Speaking in Berlin on the first full day of his presidency, France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, has called for a “historic reconstruction” of Europe, saying it is “the only reaction” to fight populism.

He was joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said the pair had a “joint conviction” that they needed to “deepen the European Union”.

Chancellor Merkel and President Macron said that they would work closely on such issues as defence, eurozone reform and reducing bureaucracy. Chancellor Merkel went on to say that the EU depended on France being strong, and that she and President Macron had a “joint conviction that we are not only going to deal with the British exit from the European Union, but we also need to deepen the EU”.

She also expressed optimism about the eurozone reforms mooted by President Macron, suggesting it may be possible to change EU treaties as would be required to enact them. Chancellor Merkel went on to say “From the German point of view, it’s possible to change the treaty if it makes sense. I would be ready to do this, but first we will work on what we want to reform.”

There was a warm welcome for the new French president both from Angela Merkel with the crowd singing and dancing outside the chancellory because, in President Macron, Chancellor Merkel has a counterpart with whom she shares a desire to reshape the European Union following Britain’s departure. There appears to be a genuine hope here that the French-German relationship, once so fundamental to the European Project, can be rekindled.

However, due to the fact that some of President Macron’s ideas about economic reform have raised concerns in Berlin it is extremely unlikely that in an election year Angela Merkel will risk anything which the voters could possibly perceive as a German bailout of struggling member states.

Furthermore, Berlin expects President Macron to prove himself and succeed where the others have failed, i.e. deliver on his election promise and kick start the French economy.

Thus far we know that President Macron wishes to create a common eurozone budget, parliament and finance minister and does not support the idea of making all countries that use the euro liable for other individual countries’ existing debt.

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