Merkel endorses Macron's European Union military plan

  • Merkel endorses Macron's European Union military plan

Merkel endorses Macron's European Union military plan

In her most detailed comments on Macron's vision, Merkel supported the idea of turning the euro zone's ESM rescue fund into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) with powers to give members hit by sovereign debt troubles short-term credit lines.

In her words, cohesiveness among currency block members is important, "but solidarity between European partners should not lead to a debt union but help its members to help themselves".

Merkel also said that a future EMF would be organized on an intergovernmental basis and national parliaments of member countries would have oversight.

Merkel also backs the step-by-step introduction of a euro zone investment budget in the low double-digit billions of euros.

Merkel underlined the need for a common European response to the challenge of immigration, but said it must be a "flexible" system so that countries can contribute to helping and housing migrants as they are able to.

The German chancellor is famously careful and deliberate when acting on issues, but she was criticised by members of her own government for not speaking out in support of Macron sooner. For Mr. Macron, Pesco's existing cooperation on logistics and procurement don't go almost far enough.

Germany's Bundeswehr would not need to participate in all such European missions, Merkel said, and would join "to the extent of the possibilities of a parliamentary army". He also called for a shared European military intervention force and defense budget.

"I am in favor of President Macron's proposal for an intervention initiative", Merkel said, reported Politico. During their conversation, the two leaders emphasised the importance of "continued close bilateral cooperation", the statement added.

The German chancellor insisted that questions of European reform were never simply a decision to made between her and Mr. Macron, or between Germany and France. But Andrea Nahles, leader of the center-left Social Democrats in the ruling coalition, told the ARD public broadcaster Ms. Merkel's remarks were "very pleasing" with "a totally new tone".