Merkel Says Franco-German (Merger) Treaty a Step Towards European Army
- Merkel Says Franco-German Treaty a Step Towards European Army
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a new Franco-German friendship treaty was a step toward the creation of a future joint European army. Ms Merkel said the pact aims to build a Franco-German “common military culture” and “contributes to the creation of a European army”.
President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Merkel signed the deal, which pledges deeper economic and defence ties as well as commitment to the EU, in the German city of Aachen. The French presidency said it was an “important moment” for showing the relationship was “a bedrock which can relaunch itself … in the service of reinforcing the European project”.
Aachen, which sits on the Dutch and Belgian borders, is rich in European symbolism as the seat of power of Charlemagne, the 1st-century emperor who ruled over swathes of western Europe.
“We’re seeing an existential crisis in terms of European integration, with Brexit and the expected strengthening of nationalists at the next European elections,” said Claire Demesmay, a political scientist at German research institute DGAP. “In this context, confirming this belief in Franco-German cooperation has symbolic value,” she told German public radio.