German Chancellor Angela Merkel received French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday at the dawn of a German EU presidency ahead of an outstanding Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The two leaders renewed their willingness to work hand in hand to convince the rest of the EU of a joint stimulus agreement.
A great meeting for the Franco-German couple. Angela Merkel received Emmanuel Macron on Monday, June 29, at the dawn of a German EU presidency confronted by the corona virus with an unprecedented crisis that the Chancellor intends to seize to refine her European heritage. At the end of their meeting, the French President and German Chancellor reaffirmed their desire to reach a joint recovery agreement for the European Union 27.
“We have reached a moment of truth for Europe”
“We have reached a moment of truth for Europe. And with this resolved Franco-German commitment, we can make it a moment of success,” Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.
Reaching an agreement “is our top priority,” he said. “Without it, Europe would not fulfill the task. And I think it is possible already in July.”
For her part, Angela Merkel wanted this agreement to be concluded at the European Council on 17 and 18 July. “We hope we can find a solution, although there is still a long way to go,” she said.
The head of state also said he is “honored” for being the first foreign leader to visit the chancellor since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
“When I look at the situation, I can see how much the circumstances have changed in two years – this crisis that no one had foreseen has put us all to the test, in health and economic terms.” he said, referring to his visit in June 2018 at Meseberg Castle.
“But I also measure, and above all, the degree of progress made by the Franco-German couple. We have never let go, weakened or neglected this indispensable link; never,” he stressed.
The Head of State also proposed “raising” the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and “ensuring that the recovery plans, European and national, meet these targets”. “In this regard, it seems essential to me that the money that Europe will take to the countries that make its ecological transition is strictly conditional on precise climate commitments, starting with carbon neutrality in 2050,” he said. Added.
Several projects are waiting for Angela Merkel
From the Commission’s “Green Deal” to Brexit, through the issue of migration or relations with China and the United States, the sites will not fail from July 1 for the German Chancellor. She had not held the rotating EU presidency since 2007.
But it is the Covid-19 epidemic and the resulting economic crisis that will be given priority over the next six months.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down, as have the plans of the German Presidency,” concluded the Chancellor at the end of May.
“We want to use this unique crisis to launch unparalleled change in the European Union,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confirmed to the European Council on International Relations on Monday.
“The first reflexes, including ours, were quite national and not always European,” admitted Angela Merkel, who now intends to stave off “the danger that a deep divide will continue to widen in Europe”.
She is now investing in “solidarity and mutual assistance” between the 27th 180 degree turn by the German leader, questioned for her dislike of a Greece near bankruptcy in 2011.
The chancellor was thus able to “use this presidency to form a legacy”, according to a European diplomat, citing her “tail singing”. Angela Merkel, with power for 15 years, has really planned to leave her job by the end of 2021.
She is often accused of lacking political courage and has just broken a German taboo on economic solidarity by proposing a € 500 billion European recovery plan with Emmanuel Macron.
Above all, the two leaders suggested that it be financed through reciprocal European debt. This Franco-German initiative paved the way for the plan, which is ultimately estimated at € 750 billion by the European Commission, which, however, still promises tough negotiations in Europe.
“We are optimistic, determined and determined to get a budget deal in July,” the French Presidency believes.