Newly re-elected Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, and French President, François Hollande, delivered a joint statement from Paris, on the eve of the December 2013 EU Summit in Brussels.
Hollande opened the press conference, by speaking of the intended resolution of several key issues. As expected, their statement focused partially on the establishment of a Banking Union.
“We also have a responsibility to help shape Europe’s destiny,” said Hollande. “And during the upcoming EU summit, we will resolve the issues being debated, notably the European Banking Union. We’ve seen great progression.”
Merkel praised Ireland and Spain for their financial progression and had previously used the fact that they had exited the bailout programmes as an example of Europe’s renewed strength.
“It’s good that Ireland and Spain could exit the bailout programmes,” Merkel said. “The policy resulted in progress, but we are not out of the woods, yet. Therefore we have to make sure that such crises will never be repeated and that we make Europe and the euro zone resilient.”
However, key questions surrounding the volume of financial support provided by the EU are expected to remain on the back burner at the Summit.
Also on the agenda at the Summit are the prospects for the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.
After five years of placing almost exclusive emphasis on economic ‘crisis management’, European leaders are expected to move on and address the main political issues of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, as well as Europe’s overall performance as a key security provider.
However, Germany reportedly reacted very coolly to a request from France for European countries to increase support for its military mission in Central African Republic.