Macron calls on Germany to abandon self-serving approach on EU integration

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 13.5.2018 11:31

At the 10 May ceremony in Aachen, Germany, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his opinion that the solution to challenges facing Europe - from increasingly tense Transatlantic relations to the rise of divisive nationalism - can only be the deepening of the EU integration process. He warned, however, of the main impediment in this regard coming from Germany, which opposes what he considers the next crucial steps: a Eurozone budget and finance minister.

Macron called for European financial solidarity with high unemployment countries, something the Germans strongly reject. Germany exports in the EU amounted to €750 bn in 2017, and while these exports cannot be subjected to tariffs under Common Market rules, the Germans tend to overlook that the current deal is clearly advantaging their economy and social system, while making it increasingly difficult for industries in other EU countries to compete or evolve. Moreover, Germany's unstated position is that the profit its companies make under the above-described configuration and the increasingly larger taxes they pay, will stay and be re-invested in Germany's social welfare system, education and infrastructure, as indicated by the German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz on 9 May. But the French president pointed out that such an arrangement running at the expense of other countries cannot be expected to go on indefinitely. 

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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