Macron Calls for Reviving Franco-Germany to Lead EU Forward in Bundestag Speech
French President Emmanuel Macron has addressed the German Parliament with a call for reviving the alliance between France and Germany, sometimes referred to as “Franco-Germany” to underscore the closeness of the two largest member states of the EU.
Macron, who recently made the notable call for establishing an EU army during the remembrance of the 100th year since the end of World War I, addressed the Bundestag in Berlin on Sunday to mark Germany’s Day of Mourning for those killed in war.
The French leader’s message to the German lawmakers was that it was up to Franco-Germany to lead Europe in order to make it more modern, efficient, and democratic.
“Europe, and within it the Franco-German alliance, have the obligation … to guide it [the world] on the road to peace,” Macron declared, as cited by DW.
He argued only the two neighbors’ partnership within a unified and more sovereign Europe could help prevent the world from sliding into chaos against the backdrop of challenges ranging from climate change to migration.
The French President recalled the German deputies that France and Germany had managed to overcome their history of 200 years of “merciless wars” in order to make a “lasting peace” and “cement a bedrock of cooperation in all fields.”
“[Europe must not] become a plaything of great powers … and must not accept a subordinate role in world politics,” Macron said, following up on his call for a full-fledged EU military.
He further praised Germany for re-examining its history in the wake of the Second World War.
“No other country has scrutinized its history with so much sincerity and tried to learn its lessons. You decided to never stop trying to overcome ancient quarrels and to work tirelessly for peace,” he said.
The French President’s address in Berlin was part of Germany’s remembrance events of the centenary since the end of World War I which come a week after ceremonies in Paris and London.
Earlier, Macron participated together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s Neue Wache memorial to remember those killed in war.
After that, Merkel and Macron held talks on EU and Eurozone reforms long pushed for by the latter, and largely supported by the former.
On Friday, France and Germany shook hands on a proposal for a common budge of the Eurozone within the overall budget of the European Union, according to a report by DPA which has seen the document.
During their joint news conference on Sunday, Merkel stated the time had come to “really deliver” on European reforms.
(Banner image: Video grab, Emmanuel Macron on Twitter)