17 Jan 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron’s office announced that on January 22, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are set to sign a new treaty so as to advance Franco-German ties prior to next year’s EU elections, thelocal.fr reports.
The French presidency added that both leaders will meet in the French border town of Aix-la-Chapelle, which was once the capital of the ninth-century Carolingian Empire, to agree on what “will strengthen the already close ties between Germany and France.”
According to the statement, the treaty will address cooperative plans regarding topics such as defence, climate change, security and “economic and social convergence”.
On the same day, a draft agreement on enhancing cooperation will be compiled by the French and German parliaments in the form of a 100-member joint parliamentary assembly.
Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the eurozone’s two biggest economies “want to move ahead to ensure the security and wellbeing of citizens as well as a strong, sovereign and democratic Europe.”
The agreement comes at a tense time for both presidencies, due to Merkel approaching her final times in office and Macron dealing with “yellow vest” protests.
With both countries fearing a challenge from populists in May’s European Parliament elections, works directed towards a post-Brexit EU are intensifying. Speaking at his New Year’s address, Macron said he would introduce his vision for a “renewed European project” in coming weeks.