Macron, Merkel to announce new 'Franco-German initiative'

18 Mai, 2020, 20:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a video-conference at 1330 GMT

Macron and Merkel aim to define "a French-German initiative to respond to the COVID-19 crisis at the European level, in the areas of health, the economic recovery, the environmental and digital transition, and industrial sovereignty", the French presidency said.

France and Germany had struggled to present a united front in the coronavirus crisis, with France leading a push by mostly southern European countries to convince fiscally conservative countries like Germany to issue joint European debt to help them weather the economic impact.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will present Monday a joint plan to spur European Union recovery from the coronavirus crisis, after weeks of debate over how to deploy billions of euros needed to quickly end painful recession.

Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen has not given a specific figure, but has said the plan would be linked to the EU's regular budget and funded in part by the commission borrowing on financial markets.

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"We are proposing to do real transfers (of money) ... that's a major step", he said Monday.

Macron acknowledged that a French-German deal alone "doesn't mean an agreement from the 27".

The two leaders, who unveiled their proposal in a joint video press conference, said that work is still needed "to bring together all the member states" as the measure is expected to raise objections in several member states, including the Netherlands and Denmark who have previously opposed the creation of so-called "coronabonds".

Merkel stressed that the fund should be seen as a "one-off effort". Our goal, however, is clear: "Europe will face this crisis together and we will emerge from it stronger", they added.

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