France, Germany boost EU cooperation

(VOVWORLD) -One day after his inauguration, Emmanuel Macron made his first international trip as French president to Germany, calling for a "historic rebuilding" of Europe in the face of rising populism. The visit strengthens  France-Germany ties and more extensive cooperation within the EU. 
France, Germany boost EU cooperation - ảnh 1French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin on May 15, 2017 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Traditionally, Germany has been the first destination for newly-elected French leaders. Since 1963, when French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysee Treaty, France-Germany cooperation has become one of the major pillars of the two countries’ foreign policies and a momentum for European integration.

Monday’s visit to Berlin by President Macron underscored the importance of France-Germany ties in implementing European goals. The two countries pledged to work together to address security, economy, investment, and social protection issues. 

Europe, a priority of France’s foreign policy 

In the wake of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) and widespread populism, the two European powerhouses face the heaviest task of reforming the EU to prevent it from collapse as what people fear. 

Macron has proved to be a pro-EU politician who vowed to boost EU trade integration and solidarity during his presidential campaign. He said he wanted to build a united Europe with a single budget, parliament, and finance minister. Macron expected the June meeting of the European Council will approve a roadmap to tackle issues of France’s great concerns including reform of the Eurozone and the EU’s finance prospects. 

During his inauguration last Sunday, France’s youngest President repeated his intention to move Europe forward. 

In Berlin, Macron told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he hopes the EU will be less bureaucratic and more self-protective. He said the idea of changing the EU reform is not a taboo and that European companies should be stronger in the face of trade liberalization. 

France, Germany jointly reshape EU future 

Echoing the French President’s proposals for a stronger EU, Merkel said "Europe will only do well if there is a strong France." She added that she hoped for a "new dynamism" in German-French relations. The German leader said both countries reached a common perception on first and foremost concentration on deepening the EU and helping the Eurozone to withstand possible crisis. She agreed with Macron’s idea of EU reform, adding that "First we need to work on what we want to change, and if it turns out it needs a treaty change, then we're prepared to do that." 

Prior to the visit, Berlin was worried about the French President’s “unrealistic” reform efforts amid a troubled Eurozone. A spokesperson for the German Finance Ministry said Macron’s reforms requiring the change of the EU treaty should be passed by all member countries. The German Foreign Ministry said the treaty change is “not a good idea.” 

But after talking with the French President, Chancellor Merkel left open the possibility of changing the EU Treaty if appropriate.