Paris, January 21: German leader Angela Merkel’s visit to the Élysée presidential palace on Friday is an effort to show that Paris and Berlin remain united and determined to forge ahead in Europe.
"Germany and France can and should take the lead on many questions (related to Europe) and therefore I understand that France is waiting until we have a new government," said Merkel at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Merkel’s visit coincides with the 55th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty establishing friendly relations between France and Germany after the Second World War. The French and German lower houses of parliament are slated to pass a resolution on Monday outlining prospective elements for a new treaty and reinforcing cooperation between the countries’ parliaments.
France and Germany, once bitter enemies, "have a joint responsibility to develop all of Europe further,” says German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Historically the two countries have been the powerhouse of the economic integration project that became the European Union. But French President Emmanuel Macron's plans to shore up the 19-nation euro single currency area and deepen European integration are on hold while Angela Merkel cautiously in favor of the scheme, battles to form a government.