France's Macron seeks joint defence force under European Union reforms

France's Macron seeks joint defence force under European Union reforms

In a major speech at the Sorbonne university in Paris, Mr Macron said he wanted the European Union to boost its common defence systems and have "autonomous capacity for action" through a joint military force.

French President Emmanuel Macron's grand Europe plan could be stymied by Angela Merkel's disappointing election score, with the liberal party tipped to join her coalition rejecting his proposals for radical eurozone reform.

He says "only with common solutions can we inspire the people in Europe again about Europe".

The outcome of the tussle between the EU's two dominant nations will be central to the eurozone's future.

Elysee sources say the eurozone members of the European Parliament could play the latter role.

Merkel´s Christian Union CDU/CSU bloc scored 33 percent, but her victory was bittersweet, as the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged to become the country´s third strongest party. One of her likely coalition partners, the pro-business FDP, is even more hostile to the idea.

"Europe is already moving at different speeds".

To change that, he proposed a joint budget for European countries sharing the euro currency that would allow investment in European projects and help stabilise the eurozone in case of economic crisis.

A coalition of Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc, the FDP and the Greens is unprecedented at the national level - and any attempt by the chancellor and Macron to press for greater European Union integration will face opposition from the new German lower house Bundestag.

Merkel, asked about potential cooperation with Macron, signaled that further euro-area integration can wait while she sets about forming a government.

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"I'm not going to be ruling everything out in advance". "Besides, we have to talk with the FDP about it first anyway".

Berlin estimates that this could amount to up to 300 billion euros, of which Germany - the eurozone´s biggest economy and chief bailout bankroller - would have to pay the lion´s share.

The FDP would not be the only hard ally in Merkel's coalition.

France and others in Europe are watching closely to see who will control the German finance ministry in Ms. Merkel's next government.

The recent spate of Eurozone elections revealed greater nationalistic tendencies as a growing number of dissatisfied voices revealed tensions around policies the Euro bloc has adopted, notably rising immigration.

"We must be able to create real stability through reforms, not through complex and expensive financial engineering", it said.

Macron's party is expected to seek an alliance at the Senate with other centrists, some center-leaning Socialists and some members of The Republicans party, in the hope of passing some sensitive bills more swiftly.

"A very European speech, very open", Mr Selmayr tweeted in French.

Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement Tuesday that Macron highlighted key issues where Europe needs to find better common responses because national responses have been inadequate, like the management of external borders, security policies, strengthening of the eurozone and fighting climate change. It isn't clear, however, that Mr. Macron's efforts at home are sufficient to convince Berlin to sign up to his European initiatives.