politics

Macron and Merkel’s Unity on Full Display During Summit Week

  • German, French leaders outlined plans for future of euro area
  • Two leaders agreed on Airbus, Poland and Brexit strategy

What's Next For Merkel?

They met for talks in Paris on Wednesday, shared a joke in Brussels on Thursday, and stood side-by-side on Friday to deliver their common vision for Europe.

The love-in between President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel was on full show this week, culminating in their joint appearance after a two-day summit of European Union leaders. While they differed on tone and emphasis, the direction of travel was clearly the same.

Macron and Merkel on Dec. 15.

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

“With the chancellor we have a clear idea of our common ambition and where we want to go,” Macron told reporters at closing press conference as Merkel stood to his left. “That’s what makes me optimistic.”

On Poland’s standoff with the European Commission, the composition of the Airbus board and the prospect of EU unity in the face of Brexit, they had common cause. And on the contentious drive for reform of the euro area of which they are the two most important members, they committed to do all they can to reach a joint road map by March.

A common solution may not be easy but “will be necessary for Europe,” Merkel said.

“I can only say that I want to,” the German Chancellor said. “If there is a will, there is also a way.”

On Thursday, as they prepared to break for the night, Macron shouted out, “Good night, Angela.”

“Oh no,” she said, laughing as it was already well after midnight. “See you today!”

As the two made their way out on Friday afternoon, Macron put his hand on Merkel’s back, and with a gentle pat the leaders exited together.

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