World

Macron Sets Course For European Superstate on First Day as French President

Macron Sets Course For European Superstate on First Day as French President

The pair said they are both prepared even to implement treaty changes if needed.

"If we can answer the questions of why, what for and explain the usefulness of such changes, then Germany would be ready for that anyway", she said, adding that she had briefly discussed this with Macron during the meeting.

The draft is expected to be approved by the SPD's party leadership next week and is likely to be adopted at a party congress on June 25.

"The French agenda will be a reform agenda", Macron said at a joint press conference with Merkel in Berlin following his first high-level talks since becoming head of state.

Some could be replaced after next month's parliamentary election, depending on how many seats Macron's fledgling Republique En Marche (REM) party wins.

Chancellor Merkel said she was open to Mr Macron's proposal to create a level playing field between European Union countries and other global trade partners.

French President Macron said: "In the past the subject of treaty change was a French taboo".

Merkel said that she would be "ready" to the change the European Union treaties "if it is useful", and insisted that the European Union would be "vulnerable" if it refused to amend its existing rules.




Back in Paris, Mr Macron spent yesterday selecting his Cabinet with new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Briefing journalists before he travelled to Germany on his plans to "relaunch" the European Union, create a joint national budget, parliament, and finance minister for eurozone nations, Macron clearly caused concern amongst some.

Macron's proposals for a common eurozone budget and a finance minister to represent the 19-nation single currency area got a very cool welcome in a Germany which sees no gain in being responsible for any spendthrift partners.

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. Largely unknown to the wider public three years ago, Macron enjoyed a meteoric rise to the presidency, beating Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front on May 7 after a long campaign exposed deep splits over France's role in Europe.

Macron said he does not favor European countries taking joint responsibility for old debts and that he has never pushed for jointly issued eurobonds.

The EU, she said, must become more agile in its procedures and most decisive in its actions.

Macron, who swept into Berlin with his newly-appointed German-speaking prime minister, Édouard Philippe, reached for historic rhetoric in his speech, announcing that he would seek not just short-term results in tackling French unemployment, but nothing less than the "historic reconstruction of Europe and the eurozone". And in France, opponents of such reforms have already vowed to launch street protests against any attempt by Mr. Macron to liberalize France's highly regulated labor market.

The statement was a clear nod to Germany, which has been vigorously opposing the idea of taking responsibility for the debts of weaker, crisis-hit European Union member states. "We need more pragmatism, less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects our citizens", he added.


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