The French president will visit Saxony on Monday

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Written By Maya Cantina

Berlin/Dresden. French President Emmanuel Macron continues his state visit to Germany this Monday with a one-day trip to Saxony. The highlight should be a European policy speech by Macron in front of the Dresden Frauenkirche, which will likely be aimed at Europe’s youth. Thousands of young people from Saxony, Poland, the Czech Republic and France are expected to attend the speech. Macron could therefore also turn his attention to his Eastern European partners, who fear that they could become the next victims of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

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The last item on the program in Berlin is an early morning wreath laying ceremony at the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. Around noon, Macron and his wife Brigitte, accompanied by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender, are expected at Moritzburg Castle near Dresden.

Host Steinmeier effectively set the tone for Macron on Sunday evening in his speech at the state banquet honoring visitors from France, when he called for more passion for a united Europe to keep it alive. It takes more than our minds, he said at Bellevue Palace. “It takes our hearts. If we want to preserve and shape this Europe, our collective strength is needed. It takes passion.” What is especially needed is the passion of young people, Steinmeier emphasizes.

Macron and Steinmeier: No crisis in German-French relations

At the start of the visit on Sunday, Macron and Steinmeier stressed the special importance of German-French relations and vehemently denied that they were in crisis. This is what CDU chairman Friedrich Merz claims, for example. Macron emphasized that cooperation between the two countries is “indispensable and important”. He contradicted the impression that the German-French engine had sputtered: “That is not true. We are moving forward.”

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Steinmeier said in a joint press conference with Macron: “If we look back, there has rarely been a year in which no complaints were made about German-French relations.” There is a misunderstanding behind this complaint. “It is often expected that European member states, and especially France and Germany, should always agree with each other. But this ignores the fact that they are two different countries with different histories and different traditions – “and yes, different too.” interests.”

Macron’s visit ends on Tuesday in Münster

Significant progress has been made in recent months, for example in joint armament projects, Steinmeier said. “It sometimes takes a lot of work, a lot of nerves, that too.” But he does not view German-French cooperation as critically as in some comments. “What I expect is ambition, that we actually come together on the points where we still have differences of opinion.”

A visit to the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden is also planned, where an expert discussion on artificial intelligence and the European microchip industry is planned. On Tuesday, Macron will complete his state visit to Münster, where he will be awarded the International Prize for the Peace of Westphalia.

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Immediately afterwards, consultations between the German-French government are scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon in Meseberg Castle, the guest house of the federal government north of Berlin.

RND/dpa

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