German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Monday to draw up a roadmap to deeper European Union integration and opened the door to changing the bloc’s treaties to facilitate ambitious reform.
A day after Macron’s inauguration, the two leaders struck a consensual tone in Berlin after talks in which they sought to reinvigorate the Franco-German relationship and the European project that has been shaken by Britain’s planned exit.
The run-up to the meeting had been marked by a row among senior German politicians over how to respond to Macron’s calls for closer EU integration, with some concerned that Berlin would be asked to pay for struggling states that resist reforms.
Merkel said that Germany needs France to succeed, emphasizing that “Europe will only do well if there is a strong France”.
“We agreed that we want to develop a road map for the European Union’s medium-term perspectives,” she said in a joint news conference with Macron.
“There is a common conviction that we cannot only deal with Britain’s exit (from the EU), but instead that we must above all think about how we can deepen the existing European Union and especially the euro zone.”