After German election, Macron to set out his vision for Europe

In a speech about Europe’s future to students at the Sorbonne university in Paris, he said this budget could at first be financed by tougher taxes on internet giants and climate change-related taxes.

Coming just two days after the German election, Macron’s speech is likely to be interpreted in Germany as an attempt to shape the debate before the coalition talks begin in earnest.

“Merkel has secured a fourth term as chancellor, but emerged weakened, facing hard coalition talks and reduced chances to proceed with a compromising attitude towards Macron’s demands for a more integrated Europe”, Xinhua quoted Adriaan Schout, coordinator of European Union (EU) affairs at Clingendael, as saying on Monday.

Macron said the eurozone needs a stronger budget and consideration should be given to funding it with a specific tax.

“He can count on us”, said Gabriel, whose party has ruled out being part of a new grand coalition.

“That is exactly what we need to have a thorough debate about”, he said.

He added the budget would eventually need to come also from the national budgets of countries sharing the euro currency, for instance using domestic taxes on businesses.

Without such movement, they said the likely result would be symbolic steps like a tiny euro zone budget, a finance minister without real powers and a cosmetic upgrading of the euro zone’s bailout fund, the ESM.

Juncker, however, did not support the idea of a separate eurozone budget or parliament.

This “vision” for a more powerful European Union comes in the midst of fierce political battles in nearly every member country over how big a role the bloc should play in regular citizens’ lives.

“It is a lie that hunkering down in your own country is ever going to be a successful path”, he said.

Lambsdorff welcomed Macron’s call to strengthen military cooperation in the European Union and seize the opportunities of digitisation, but he rejected the call for a euro zone budget. Merkel has spoken of a budget with a “smaller sum”.

Germany’s foreign minister is praising French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech as a “passionate argument against nationalism” and for European reforms. “It weakens all Europe”.

Macron also called for the formation of a joint European military intervention force that should have an autonomous intervention capacity complementary to that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, and a common strategic culture.

Macron doesn’t want to wait for Britain to leave the EU in 2019 to tie European economies closer together.

“In a few years, if they want, the United Kingdom could find its place”.

Macron plans to discuss his proposals with all leaders of European Union member states that are interested in the integration process by the end of the year.

In Berlin on Monday, Merkel said it was important to move beyond catchphrases and provide detail on how Europe could be improved. “Let’s not be afraid to say it, to desire it”, he said.

She is expected to seek a coalition with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) – who have criticised Macron’s ideas for Europe – and the Greens.

Speaking in Athens earlier this month, he argued that such a process would be democratic without suffering the shortcomings of referendums, “the sole weapon of populists”.

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