EU Won’t ‘Nod Along’ to Macron, Merkel’s Reforms, Dutch Leader Rutte Warns

EU Won’t ‘Nod Along’ to Macron, Merkel’s Reforms, Dutch Leader Rutte Warns

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has warned that the Netherlands and some other EU member states would not go along with proposed reforms of EU institutions pushed by French President Emmanuel Macron and cautiously supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has warned that the Netherlands and some other EU member states would not go along with proposed reforms of EU institutions pushed by French President Emmanuel Macron and cautiously supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Rutte’s warning come in an interview for German news weekly Der Spiegel hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to visit Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We have freedom of movement in the EU, and of course the German government can meet the French government without us being there. But that doesn’t mean that we and other EU countries agree with everything the Germans and French agree on,” Rutte said, as cited by AFP and The Local Germany.

“We won’t just nod along to everything,” the Prime Minister of the Netherlands declared.

France’s President Macron has been calling for major reforms to deepen integration within the Eurozone and breathe new momentum into the EU. Merkel has supported most of his plans.

Back in June 2018, Macron and Merkel announced a plan for far-reaching reforms of the Eurozone, including the introduction of a single Eurozone budget and the establishment of a “European Monetary Fund”.

Dutch leader Rutte, however, is staunchly opposed to a number of Macron’s proposals, most notably those for a common finance minister and common budget of the Eurozone.

“I believe that in the first place it’s every EU country’s own responsibility to prepare itself for crises. Sound finances are the best precaution,” he argued.

His stance is shared partly or fully by other EU member states as well. Last week the finance ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and the Netherlands issued a joint statement to that end.

They argued completing the Eurozone banking union and other more modest goals should be prioritized over “far-reaching proposals”, an allusion to Macron’s plans.

Rutte is also against increasing the Dutch payments to the EU’s budget from 2020 as part of the efforts to make up for lost revenue from Brexit. He has advocated spending cuts instead.

The coalition Cabinet of German Chancellor Merkel, on the other hand, recently committed to lifting its contributions. Both Germany and the Netherlands are among the top net contributors to the EU budget.

(Banner image: Flickr)

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