Merkel reiterates German-Franco Initiative in EU
12 Mar 2018, 19:14 ( 12 Mar, 2018)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday she would visit Paris shortly after her inauguration this week, reiterating the German-French Initiative in European Integration.
Merkel told reporters that while complex projects like the European banking union require more negotiations, finding a consensus with France on areas including finance, defense and migration is a key task of her new government.
Merkel is due to be sworn in for a fourth term on Wednesday and the new German government is poised to operate after almost six months since federal elections took place in September of last year.
Speaking at a press conference with Horst Seehofer and Oraf Scholz, leaders of the coalition parties in the new government, Merkel said she and Scholz, vice chancellor and finance minister in the new government, would visit Paris shortly after the new government swears in.
As the two largest economies in eurozone, Germany and France have acted as the major engine in European integration in the past decades, but that slowed to a standstill in the recent decade.
In September last year, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a series of reforms and strengthening of EU, but said he needed support from Germany.
The German-French closer cooperation in the EU was also stipulated in the government coalition agreement among Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (SCU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
"We need Europe -- a Europe that shares the same values and acts together, particularly toward the outside world, and we...will make our contribution," said Merkel, who added that she hoped for progress in implementing the peace deal for Ukraine.