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Macron to table initiative for EU reforms

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to present his proposals to reform the European Union on Tuesday, but it comes two days after his key ally, Chancellor Angela Merkel, was weakened by the German election results.

Germany and France have traditionally been seen as the driving force behind European integration, and Macron is keen to act on a campaign promise to reform and strengthen the bloc.

He has called for the creation of a euro-zone finance minister and a euro-zone budget that would be voted on by a parliamentary assembly.

Even before the German election results, which have left Merkel faced with difficult coalition negotiations, those ideas were regarded with scepticism by some in Berlin.

Macron has also called for “conventions” and public consultations across Europe on establishing a more democratic and sovereign EU.

Speaking in Athens earlier this month, he argued that such a process would be democratic without suffering the shortcomings of referendums, “the sole weapon of populists.”

Macron’s proposals for a euro-zone finance minister and “democratic conventions” were backed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Juncker, however, did not support the idea of a separate euro-zone budget or parliament.

Elysee sources say the euro-zone members of the European Parliament could play the latter role.

Merkel has said she is not opposed to having a euro-zone finance minister, but differs with Macron on how powerful the role should be.

Macron said the minister should have a budget of hundreds of billions of Euros; however he has spoken of a budget with a “smaller sum.”

(Source: dpa/NAN)

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Posted by on Sep 26 2017. Filed under Africa, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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