Thursday, 13 December, 2018

French President speaks at German parliament

Macron calls for more unified, independent Europe

19 Nov 2018, 00:23 ( 24 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech to mark Germany's Day of Mourning for war and violence victims at the German Federal Parliament in Berlin, capital of Germany, on Nov. 18, 2018. Photo Xinhua.

Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday addressed German legislators, calling for opening a new chapter for Europe and building it more integrated, stronger and independent.

   In a speech to the Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament, to mark Germany's Day of Mourning for war and violence victims, Macron said France and Germany had overcome 200 years of wars to make the lasting peace and cement a bedrock of cooperation in all fields.

   As Europe is facing multiple challenges such as climate change, trade conflicts and migration, the France-Germany partnership has the duty to prevent the world from sliding into chaos, said the French president.

   "That's why Europe needs to get stronger, that's why it needs to become more independent," Macron said.

   Macron called for "more Europe", which means more sovereign, and each member state must share decision-making power with other states on foreign policy, immigration and development policy. Once again, Macron called for a European army.

   Macron's speech was one of a series of events to mark the Day of Mourning. At the Bundestag, junior football players shared stories of former footballers killed as soldiers. Artists played the music from WWI period, while military trumpeters from Germany, France and Britain blew the mourning horns.

   Before he went to the Bundestag, Macron, accompanied by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel, attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Berlin's Neue Wache memorial.

   The events in Berlin followed the centenary anniversary ceremony of the WWI armistice near Paris last week.

   Later Macron and Merkel held talks at the Chancellery. At the press briefing before the talks, Merkel said the two leaders will talk about the future of the eurozone, and the measures to develop in the digital era, including the issue of digital tax.

   Germany and France agreed on Friday on a proposal for a common budget for eurozone member states within the EU's overall budget, according to a document seen by the German News Agency (DPA).

   Merkel said she will also discuss with Macron with the defense of Europe, especially the establishment of a long-term European army, which was called by Macron earlier this month and was quickly responded by Merkel last week.

   Macron said he would talk about energy transition and environmental protection, and of course the migration issue, saying that it was not new for Europe, but there is ability to make significant progress.

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