The French president wants cooperation outside the European Union. The German chancellor finds the proposal “interesting”.
To promote stability and democracy in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed some form of cooperation outside the European Union. Macron said during his inaugural visit after his re-election in Berlin on Monday evening that the aim has so far always been to achieve these goals through EU enlargement. But realistically, this perspective cannot be achieved in a few years in countries like Ukraine. Therefore, new political forms must be found to link these countries to Europe and create political coordination.
As Macron said, it is about issues such as defense in solidarity outside NATO, about energy, infrastructure or freedom of travel. However, countries that are more advanced in their efforts to join the European Union should not be rejected. Macron said the cooperation alliance he is considering could bring Great Britain back to Europe in a coordinated manner after Brexit.
Schulz: It is necessary to find new ways
Chancellor Olaf Schultz (SPD) spoke of a “very interesting proposal”. The EU can only be strong if its members share a number of criteria, such as the rule of law and economic issues. At the same time, there are many countries on the European continent that are very similar to the countries of the European Union in their efforts for freedom and democracy and want to be closely linked to the union of countries. It is necessary to find ways to do this.
However, this should not mean that countries that were already given the possibility to join the European Union and made “courageous decisions” because of it were not rewarded at some point, Schultz emphasized. In this context, he referred to the countries of the Western Balkans and North Macedonia in particular.