Politics: Macron state visit: Merz calls for a European political signal

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Written By Maya Cantina

The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz demanded a clear European policy signal from French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Germany.

“Especially in these difficult times, this state visit must send a clear signal – more than just a statement of intent. “It must be concrete,” Merz, who is also head of the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told broadcaster rbb24 Inforadio. «Germany and France are dependent on each other. Germany and France are the engines of European unification,” said Merz.

Macron The first state visit by a French president in 24 years is expected this Sunday. The visit was planned last year, but was canceled at short notice by the French side. Macron is first received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. On Tuesday, Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) are expected to attend the German-French Council of Ministers at the federal government’s guest house, Meseberg Castle, north of Berlin.

Merz in the “Economist”: preserving the European way of life

In an article for the British Economist, Merz warned that an axis of autocracies was threatening the rules-based international order and rolling back democracy and freedom worldwide. The global power competition between America and China threatens to divide the world into two geopolitical hemispheres again. Preserving a “European way of life” must now be the focus of efforts, Merz demanded.

But you can only fight for democracy around the world if democracy is protected at home, Merz continued. The European project needs the support of its citizens, and for this it is important to regain control over irregular migration. “The rise of right-wing populism is primarily due to the uncontrolled influx of migrants and the incompetence Europe to distinguish between those who need protection and those without protection,” Merz criticized.

Migratory pressure will continue to increase, the Union faction leader warned. It is therefore crucial to secure the external borders and break the business model of human smugglers. To this end, European leaders should allow the EU border agency Frontex to police the borders as a full-fledged border police and coast guard, with enforcement powers currently reserved for Member States.

“Europe has no time to die”

The current problems in German-French relations, which are largely due to disputes within the coalition government in Berlin, are causing frustration across the continent, Merz wrote. “We must strive for a new golden era in German-French relations, preferably with close ties with Poland within the framework of the Weimar Triangle.” Merz concluded by saying, “The time to act is now. Europe has no time to die.”

At the end of April, Macron called at the Sorbonne University in Paris for a push in Europe for greater independence, economic strength and security. He said at the time: “We must be clear today that our Europe is mortal and can die.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240524-99-154078/2

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