Germany's Merkel prepared to change European Union treaties if needed
- Author: Joey Payne May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:45
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the possibility of change to European Union treaties was "not taboo" and that he wanted to see better protection for Europe's workers.
He also announced he would initiate "deep reforms" in France in order to tackle unemployment.
London's Evening Standard reports the remarks of a close advisor to Macron, who makes explicit the future dynamic he expects to come from the French and German leaders.
She said the pair had a "joint conviction" that they needed to "deepen the European Union".
Mr. Macron himself sounded a note of skepticism about the political obstacles standing in the way of such major changes. According to the most recent statistics from the European Commission, France could in fact be the only country of the 19 in the eurozone to show a public deficit in 2018 of more than 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the limit set by European rules, against a surplus of only 0.3 percent in Germany.
When a new French president is elected, their first trip overseas is to Germany.
Macron, the fervently pro-European centrist sworn in as head of state on Sunday, in keeping with tradition made his first trip overseas to Berlin, its "power couple" partner in the heart of the European project.
"We share the common conviction that we can not only focus on Great Britain's departure from the European Union, but rather we have to discuss ways to deepen our cooperation among the remaining members of the European Union, among the members of the Eurozone", she said. Germany will only do well in the long run if Europe does well.
It said in a statement that Vladimir Putin on Thursday congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on taking office and forming his Cabinet.
Macron, who defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen on May 7 to become the country's youngest president ever, is hoping to sink France's traditional parties as he seeks to redraw the political map.
Macron has said half his ministers will be women and that some will be high achievers in business, academia, the civil service or the NGO world. Euobserver reports in its article Macron and Merkel to "reconstruct" the European Union that two leaders have the "common conviction that [they] should not only deal with the United Kingdom exit" but that they should think of how to "deepen" and "strengthen" the European Union and the eurozone. "Germany will only do well in the long-term if Europe does well and Europe will only do well if there is a strong France.", said Angela Merkel the German Chancellor.
Yet it remains to be seen if her approach would go down well in Germany, which is deeply averse to shouldering burdens of eurozone laggards.
Mr Macron wants to create a common eurozone budget, parliament and finance minister.
But Merkel left the door open, saying that "from the German point of view, it's possible to change the treaty if it makes sense", while Macron also said that there was "no taboo" in addressing the issue.