President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel to Marseille, a major port in Southern France, as Europe faces many urgent policy issues, and one important deadline follows another. Angela Merkel was upbeat before the talks. “I am very optimistic that we will continue to move forward together – for a Europe that can stand on its own feet and resolve its problems independently.”
Working together to cope with migration
Before they met, both leaders underscored their readiness to work for a comprehensive European solution in the field of migration. “Germany and France have the same way of addressing the problems in this context, and Europe must also prove itself able to deal with this issue,” said Angela Merkel. Emmanuel Macron also underlined the fact that together they aim to make the migration issue “an opportunity rather than a concern”.
Continuing work on joint agenda
They also continued their discussion of the reform agenda for the European Union, which they presented at their last meeting at Schloss Meseberg.
Finally, they discussed foreign-policy challenges facing the EU, including the conflict in Syria, the situation in Ukraine and the position in the Western Balkans.
Coordination ahead of the EU summit meeting
These talks were one of a series of meetings for the Chancellor in the run-up to the informal meeting of EU heads of state and government being hosted by Austria in Salzburg on 19 and 20 September. Austria currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.