Merkel, Macron open to EU treaty changes

World Today

New French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 15, 2017 during Macron’s first foreign trip after his inauguration the day before. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Monday to work closely together to draw up a “road map” of reforms for the European Union (EU), saying that they’re both prepared even to implement treaty changes if needed.

Merkel told reporters that Germany is prepared to talk about treaty changes if they’re needed to implement reforms in the EU, and that European countries must not think that the union should never make treaty changes.

The two met in Berlin on Macron’s first full day in office, which started with his naming 46-year-old lawmaker Edouard Philippe as his new prime minister.

At the joint news conference afterwards Macron told reporters he was not in favour of European countries taking joint responsibility for old debts, which he said could lead to the wrong people being responsible for the burden and risk of the debt

Macron’s message was aimed at calming German concerns that he might revive an issue that divided European countries at the height of the eurozone debt crisis.

Merkel’s Germany, which has Europe’s biggest economy, has vehemently opposed taking direct responsibility for weaker eurozone countries’ debts.

Story by the Associated Press.