Emmanuel Macron is hosting Angela Merkel in Paris for the last Franco-German summit before the German elections in September. The German chancellor arrived on Thursday morning at the Elysee presidential palace.
The French president has called on Berlin to take action to help put right what he calls a “dysfunctional” eurozone, by accepting more public and private investment in Europe. In an interview with the French regional newspaper Ouest France (in French) also published in German papers, Macron says he has nothing against German competitiveness. “But a part of German competitiveness is due to the dysfunctionalities of the eurozone, and the weakness of other economies,” he said.
According to the president, the European Union remains an incomplete project and will need treaty changes to bring greater convergence in eurozone member states. He reiterated that he was not in favour of turning national debts of eurozone countries into a single pool of eurozone debt.
Macron’s wish to see a single finance minister and a common budget for the eurozone has been greeted cautiously by Merkel and brought suspicion in Berlin that German taxpayers might be forced to take responsibility for common debts.
The two leaders are also due to discuss defence, security and counter-terrorism on Thursday after visiting a youth centre in northern Paris which provides German language lessons. They will also meet with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and launch the Alliance for the Sahel with EU representatives.
Merkel’s visit to Paris coincides with that of Donald Trump but there are no plans for the German leader to meet the US president.