Macron and Merkel Press Conference Briefings

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Macron and Merkel Press Conference

Recorded coverage of a joint press conference held by President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel following talks in Berlin, from Monday 15 May.

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TRANSLATION: Ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy that I can welcome


here the French President who has been inaugurated yesterday, I am


very happy to greet him and welcome him in Berlin, it is a great honour


that the first trip that you undertake has taken you to Berlin,


to Germany and you can see from the number of journalists, that your


trip has stirred a certain amount of interest. We have exchanged our


views today, and we have agreed that we are going to continue to work


very closely together, for a start I congratulated the President for his


very courageous path he is going to undertake, and the path started


during his electoral campaign, and I wish him all the very best, best of


luck for his political future to make sure that France remains able


to act and react. We know about the importance and significance of the


Franco-German relationship, it is a historically and long established


grown relationship, and I personally, I for one am very much


aware of the responsibility, at this critical point in time for the


European Union that we can and must take the right decisions, and we


have agreed to work closely together, in friendly terms, for the


benefit of the people, in our countries. I believe that the


essence of this relationship should be that, this is what Mr Macron says


to us German, we of course represent our nations interests but the German


interests are very closely linked with the French interests, and


Europe can only prosper if and when France and Germany prosper, and that


is the reason why I feel so committed to this h and I say this


also on behalf of the federal Government, we have been discussing


about three areas, that we are going to deep, intensify over dinner,


there are a number of issues for example, the European asylum system,


we are going to talk about the service directive, we are going to


talk about issues regarding trade and commerce, and we want to create


jobs, we want to secure jobs in our countries, something which is going


to be very important, for people who are unemployed in Germany and


perhaps even more importantly, in France. Secondly, we agreed that our


bilateral cooperation will have to be further developed, we are going


to connect with points in the past, but we want to increase the dynamics


and that is the reason why in July we want to conduct another German


French council of minister, in order to present a number of projects that


should give a new push to our relationship.


We have also agreed that in the mid-term of the European Union we


want to work out a timetable, a road map, if you like, projects that


cannot develop overnight, but we have a joint conviction that we are


not only going to deal with the British exit from the European


Union, but we also need to deepen the European Union, the cooperation


within the eurozone, and we need to promote cooperation. For example,


issues like a tax system, harmonisation, that can also be part


of our discussions. Corporation in defence, we are going to intensify


our talks there as well. There should be a more coherent European


defence and foreign politics, and France and Germany will be a


component in this thrust. I also support all efforts to somehow


decrease bureaucracy, sometimes we are too cumbersome, to slow and not


too agile. A warm welcome, here in Berlin. I can only say that I look


forward to a very good cooperation and I look forward to our good


results for the citizens in our countries. TRANSLATION: Thank you


very much. Ladies and gentlemen, on my side, I am very happy, the day


after the handing over of powers, to be here with you in Berlin and to


have this first exchange on our future policies. You reminded people


that I was elected on the 7th of May for a project that was clearly


defending Europe, the European project and the Franco German


project. Not a relationship of blackmail, but of trust, which is


the condition of progressing for Europe to progress overall. Of


course, I haven't forgotten the message of anger of the French


people that expressed itself on the 7th of May, and which reminded all


of us that there are also reforms that need to be made, more


effectiveness and protection with regards to certain troubles that


have affected the people and the world. So, I am here today, I am


happy to represent France, but with a heavy burden, a heavy task. My


first task is to put in place the reforms that France needs. The


agenda will be one of reform over the next few months, social,


economic and educational, as I stated during the campaign. Not


because Europe requests this, but France needs it. France today is the


only big country and the European Union which, over the last 30 years,


has not been able to avoid mass unemployment. That is what my


government will do, which I will talk about tomorrow. Then there will


be parliamentary elections, as you stated. But it is within that


spirit, and I will ask the Prime Minister to conduct the government's


policy. Then there is the need to have a Europe which is less


bureaucratic and a Europe that protects. It is with that in mind


but we have had our exchanges. We have talked about several projects


in the short-term, over which can discuss closely. The rights of


asylum, outsourcing of jobs within the EU, these are all subjects which


will have an impact on the daily lives of our citizens and companies,


and over which we need more pragmatism and more European


realism. Less bureaucracy and a Europe that protects more our


citizens. Other projects, other plans, we will continue to talk


about them. These are our bilateral relationships with regards to tax,


metrics of convergence and on the educational level, and also with


regard to external defence and security, and international


policies. These are subjects we will continue to talk about over the


coming weeks. I am happy that we shall have a limited committee, and


we will talk about it between our respective governments. Finally, I


am also happy that, together, with our respective teams, we will be


able to work for projects over the medium term and have a common road


map for the European Union and the eurozone. These are very, very


important subjects, as we have seen over the last few years. You


yourself, as Chancellor, has managed to these projects. They also have an


impact on all citizens. In depth reforms are required and require


joint action. My desire is, over the coming weeks, that we can contribute


and have a Franco German road map that will allow us to progress over


the next few years on these subjects. Our relationship needs


more trust and to have practical results. The Franco German couple, I


believe, needs to restate more pragmatism and voluntarism, short


and medium-term, for all of the European Union and the eurozone. It


is with this in mind that we will work together. On my side, I will


always be honest, direct and constructive as a partner, because I


believe that the success of our two countries is very closely related.


And on that depends the whole success of Europe. And I am very


attached to it. I thank you, Madam Chancellor, once again, for your


welcome. I would like to say, for the spirit of responsibility and


commitment, whilst respecting the Republican rules, and the


geographical distinction that you have shown during the presidential


campaign. TRANSLATION: Madam Chancellor, Mr


President, you have just talked about it. Certain facts of Franco


German history, we think of DeGaulle, Helmut Kohl and Francois


Mitterrand, amongst others. We had the feeling that the Franco German


relationship had lost in density. Will this density remain? Do you


wish to once again have an historical relationship between


France and Germany? TRANSLATION: Yes. I will perhaps develop a little


better. Yes, because I believe that we are at a time, an historical


turning point of Europe. The very conditions that the French


presidential elections have shown, and what we see in many countries of


the European Union, shows as everyday that there is a rise in


populism, a direct consequence of populations that doubt, that think


progresses mismanaged and there is not enough balance. We need a moment


of relaunch, of recreation. Of course, there are difficulties and


public opinions do not have the same sensitivity. There is balance that


is required. We can only do it with a close working relationship. As I


believe in historical recreation, I believe in mutual trust. In order to


reach that, I think that everyone needs to do what he needs to do. In


France, I need to apply in depth reforms, which are necessary for our


country, but also for the full restoration, the return of Franco


German trust. Madam Chancellor, in her political life, needs to do so.


But both of us are convinced that we need short-term results, but also


real transformation, a recreation, a re-founding of Europe. In any case,


I am fully in this, and with my presidential mandate, a policy which


is strong, intense and a responsible one between France and Germany, on


multiple subjects. A return to full confidence, trust and to have an


historical relationship, where our duty in the coming years is to


organise a relaunch of the eurozone and the European Union. TRANSLATION:


It is interesting that in Germany there is, at the moment, a very


receptive audience. We have reached a point in time where many people


say, what do we have in Europe, what do we have with Europe? A lot of


people say Europe is rather important, very important. Over the


last few years, we have somewhat lost sight of these questions and


answers. The French elections, the Dutch elections, have really shown


to us Germans what a treasure Europe and the European Union are. And how


important the Franco German friendship is for this treasure. I


think we have reached a moment in history, and I think we should


really use this moment to show to people that Europe can really be


strengthened. TRANSLATION: Mr President, you have certainly


noticed earlier this small crowd that gathered in front of the


chancellery. In the history of this building, I have never seen such a


scene, such a crowd to greet a foreign leader. Perhaps it was true


for Barack Obama. What is your feeling with this crowd, people that


are dancing, singing in your honour? Is it pressure? Do you feel


pressure, or do you feel strengthened? And Madam Chancellor,


I would like to ask you, what does it mean to you to see these scenes,


people literally in front of your office windows, where a few months


ago people who are enemies of the state, if you like, they have held


marches and all of a sudden we have this new atmosphere? TRANSLATION:


First of all, for me it is very moving. This joy that accompanies


the victory here in Berlin moves me a lot. It shows there has been a


European commitment and that Europe, contrary to what many people say, it


is not about doubt, Brexit, or Frexit for some, it is the feeling


of attachment men and women feel. It is very difficult, it is also our


responsibility to give credence to Europe, this enthusiasm. I am very


attached to it. That is how it lives. That is the reason why I take


this opportunity, as I said earlier, that during this campaign I have


committed myself so that we share better our linguistic world. I have


decided to have bilingual classes. During the ministerial meeting that


we shall have in July, our ministers of national education will work on


more collaboration. From next September, there will be bilingual


classes in France. More widely, the enthusiasm beyond this time, it


forces us. I don't think it gives us strength in relation to Madam


Chancellor, because she has the same obligations as myself and she,


herself, has taken the initiative. When we went to her office to go to


the balcony and greet everyone with much enthusiasm. But it forces us,


because those that believe in Europe need to be able to give to other


people the proof, evidence, that this Europe works. We must have a


plan, every day, that without Europe we would neither have peace nor


prosperity, no freedom. That our continent, and I would say in fact


our two countries, have never known, over so many decades, so much


prosperity. It forgets, there is a danger. Beyond that, it forces us to


have results. It forces us to have a sense of perspective. What I wish is


that, in five years' time, when I shall return to visit Madam


Chancellor, that there could be the same crowd, an even bigger one,


because we will have obtained results.


We have the sentence stemming saying that each and every departure has a


new beginning in it. And that is the beauty of it. Now we have the


opportunity to start working together, but of course, this in the


knowledge that we can only come accomplish something if we can also


deliver result, we know about that and that is going to be our guiding


prince Prime Minister. It is encouraging when people turn up here


and they support, and they support us and they are also cheerful. I


think the French President said something which moved me very much,


namely that he wants for the French people to be optimistic and to look


opt tickically into the future. I believe this is a wish I would like


to support wholeheartedly. -- optimistically.


Madame Chancellor, to relaunch Europe as President Macron said, can


we envisage a change of treaties in the short-term, as Mr Macron's


suggested. Mr President, your Prime Minister said he is of the right


does that mean your politics will be the politics of the right?


TRANSLATION: We talked about it briefly from the German perspective.


It is possible to change the treaties if it makes sense, and if


it is necessary, in order to change the EU row zone, and you can perhaps


legitimise and you, sometimes use it as a European component but of


course we first need to establish what we want to do, and if a change


to the treaty is necessary, then I will be prepared to do just that.


You cannot say, and I have always taken offence since we had the


Lisbon Treaty, we hear people saying they made such a hard effort and


this treaty will never be changed in the entire lifetime of people. But


of course, the European Union, is under attack from all corners and


the world changes, and we shouldn't say that we should never change the


treaty, we should always ask ourselves what is the sense and if


and when it makes sense Germany will be prepared.


I must say to be completely honest, to Madame Chancellor, the subject of


change of treaties used to be a French taboo subject. In my case


that won't apply, and so I hope I expect that the joint road map will


be one that will give once again perspective and for the EU row zone,


and in this process there must be institutional changes, and new


treaties, we are ready for it. What counts is the political concept, the


future, terms and conditions, and our citizens can be convinced if the


concept is clear, and if it requires institutional changes and it is


determined, I hope it will be the case, there will be no taboo. As for


your second question from now, we shall apply the discipline of not


talking of foreign politics outside France, the political recome


situation which I initiated a few months ago which led to my election


will continue. Within the framework of my Presidential election, and


what the French people wanted. Not more, not less.


Mr President, and Madame Chancellor, I would like to know if the desire


for cooperation that you have expressed, that it may not be hiding


a major differences, a major European act has been announced


during the electoral campaign, that sounds a little bit like a free


trade agreement, do you, are you not afraid Madame Chancellor, that


perhaps the existing trade arrangements are going to be


eliminated, and the treaty that has been suggested, or the cooperation


that has been suggested is it not really what we already have, would


it not be better to link up with the Juncker plan and to invest more


money, and perhaps you can also eliminate one rumour here in


Germany, there is rumour that euro bonds are to be introduced, this is


that myth or just a rumour or what is it? As regards the first


question, I wish, I hope we have a Europe that protects better. And


that from time to time, there is less naivety, when I was minister


for economics and industry for several Mondays I pushed forward the


idea that the Commission shortens the delays, and shortens the rates


for anti-dumping. It is not unfair, but today Europe defends less well


it workers and company, than the United States, and so, I wish us to


improve our anti-dumping policy and I believe in free trade, and


international trade, and fair competition, but we can believe in


it without being naive. Otherwise you cannot expend it to your worker,


when your workers lose their job, not because they are not


competitive, but because they are attacked unFirst World Warily by


foreign companies that apply dumping. If you tell them Europe


doesn't react you kill the European idea. With regards to a public


conracket, the first stage is one which we can worker effectively


together, which is totally compatible with our philosophy, our


joint philosophy with regards to trade, and it is to apply


reciprocity, and when we trade with a country that doesn't respect


certain rule, then we can have reciprocity on the subject. I think


it is pragmatism and totally in compliance with what we can defend


with regards to an opening of trade. Secondly, with regards to the


European fund or a budgetary capacity, in no way is the question


of duplicating the Juncker plan but we shall state the reality. It is


just an instrument of a long-term financing, of debt. The Juncker plan


enabled to recover the existing money, from the, by using the funds


of European investment bank and markets, to give financing for big


projects to companies. It is useful but in no way is it a budgetary


capacity, it is not new money. What the EU row done needs in particular,


is to have a volleyball tourist policy with regards to public and


private investment, and to be able to inject fresh money and to have a


true budgetary capacity, a means that to apply this through rules of


convergence, structural rules because one doesn't go with the


other. The net objective of a road map over which we need to work. That


is the reason I have never defended what we call the EU row bonds, and


what it covers innier man debate. I am not promoter of the mutualisation


of past debts. Why? Because it leads to a policy of deresponsiblising.


What I believe is that we have new investments to made, and to think


about investment mechanisms for the future, and to work with more


integration for the future, but in no way, not mutualising, pooling of


the past, and I want to be clear, so we can progress effectively. I


believe there are communalties, there may be differences of course,


but the exciting thing about Franco-German cooperation is that we


are not by default of one view, but we come to a symbiosis and that is


to the benefit of the two countries but also for the larger Europe, so


we will talk about it. But as regards the trade relations, the


element of reciprocity I can well imagine that in the European Union,


for example we asked the Commission to consider as to whether there


might also be investment for strategic decisions, not only on a


national basis and regards the worker directive we will work


closely together. For me it is very important that the President was


just saying. Namely, that you need coherence in terms of the legal


framework, for exam. You could talk about the cooperation -- corporation


tax, to be harmonised, to be closer to each other, from country to


country, to exchange best practises in, recruitment in the recruitment


process, every country would have their own experience, and also about


integration. So I believe we have a lot of


communalties and a lot of work to do, that is a matter-of-fact, of


course that work is not accomplished with today, but I think we have


already made a good start, and the good start is going to give us a


good momentum to continue working. Working. Thank you very much.