BERLIN, March 17 — Germany and France are seeking to reach a basic agreement on reform of the eurozone and on the EU asylum policy by June, the German Chancellery said Friday in a statement on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first overseas trip since here re-election.
“A common approach is more necessary than ever, because Europe must act in a geopolitical situation in which multilateralism is under pressure,” Merkel said at a meeting with Macron in Paris on Friday afternoon, according to the statement.
Merkel assured Macron that they are willing to cooperate closely, saying that “now we want to find common ground, and this has always been successful in the history between Germany and France.”
The two leaders also exchanged views on the European Council set for next week. Among other things, the budget for the legislative period after the Brexit and the elections of the European Parliament in 2019 were also discussed.
Merkel traditionally chooses Paris as her first destination after her re-election. The meeting with Macron is an expression of the close ties between both countries, according to the statement.
German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz accompanied Merkel in the visit to Paris and exchanged views with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire at the same time.
Macron called for ambitious reforms of EU institutions in September, but he was waiting for the response from Germany.
The Germany new government, which was sworn in on Wednesday, strongly advocated the EU’s role in the world through the closer cooperation with France.
On the very same day of the formal formation of the new German government, German foreign minister Heiko Maas travelled to Paris to meet with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.