France and Germany have ‘obligation not to let the world slip into chaos,’ president says
In his Bundestag debut on Sunday, French president Emmanuel Macron warned Europe – and his German host – that “chaos” looms unless the continent – pushed on by Berlin and Paris – can shatter taboos and agree further integration steps.
A week after Chancellor Angela Merkel joined him for the first World War centenary in France, the French leader was the guest of honour at Germany’s own remembrance Sunday ceremonies.
Just as the last seven decades of European peace derived from France and Germany ending their centuries of mutual suspicion, Europe’s future depended on the two nations working together to prevent Europe becoming a “plaything of great powers”. It was an ill-disguised challenge to his Berlin audience to respond to his 14-month-old European Union reform proposals.
“Europe, and within it the Franco-German couple, have an obligation not to let the world slip into chaos and to guide it on the road to peace,” said Mr Macron, the first French leader to address the German parliament since Jacques Chirac 18 years ago. That growing nationalist and populist challenge around the world put Europe at a crossroads where survival means pooling foreign, migration, environment and development policy – as well as budget, fiscal and defence resources.