Macron Calls for EU Reforms, Vows to Work Closely with Germany
The pair confirmed that in order to secure the future integrity of the bloc, they are willing to draw up new treaties to allow for deeper integration and facilitate widespread reform.
Chancellor Merkel assured: “Germany is well when Europe is well”.
Macron was greeted with full military honors upon his arrival, with hundreds of onlookers waving European flags and shouting his name.
By appointing him, Macron has passed over loyal followers such as Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Mr Macron’s cause a year ago and is secretary general of REM.
German officials have expressed concern that Russia might try to influence Germany’s September 24 election, including through misinformation in Russian-language media.
French President Emmanuel Macron waits for a guest on the steps at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 16, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil his cabinet on Tuesday, a delicate balancing act for the centrist who has promised to include faces from the left and right as well as political newcomers. But it’s also because, in Mr Macron, Angela Merkel has a counterpart with whom she shares a desire to reshape the European Union following Britain’s departure.
She added: “There are discussions that need to happen”.
Le Pen’s defeat to Macron on May 7 had raised questions about her leadership of the National Front and aides had said over the past days she had not yet decided if she would stand for parliament in her northern fiefdom of Henin-Beaumont, where she narrowly lost in 2012.
In his inaugural address, Macron vowed to restore France’s place in Europe and the world.
Macron’s foreign policy drive will focus on Europe.
When the EU’s official anthem boomed at Macron’s election victory party the sighs of relief in Germany were nearly as loud.
His appointment was seen as a strategic move by Macron, who is trying to woo modernisers of all stripes to his new centrist party, the République en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM), having already won over dozens of moderate Socialist MPs. Macron made clear his vigor for European Union reform was no empty campaign promise. While politicians have previously suggested similar ideas, it was thought that the need to rewrite European treaties would stymie these options. But she also made clear that treaty changes were not a topic immediately on the table.
Merkel said that, from Germany’s viewpoint, treaty change would be possible, adding: “I would be ready to do this, but first we will work on what we want to reform”.
Macron said that treaty change was “no longer a French taboo”.
At the same time, 39-year-old president repeatedly mentioned the need for the European Union to protect its citizens in a globalized world, embrace free trade but also not be naïve about global competitors and to generally rebuild confidence among its members. And for Merkel, facing critical elections in September, his win has given her campaign a much needed boost.