The new German chancellor, Olaf Schulz, has begun his personal and international contacts with neighboring French President Emmanuel Macron.
Leaders of the European Union’s great powers have stated that their views of the world are in agreement with each other.
The label was both political and personal: Macron greeted Schultz with “Dear Olaf,” while Schultz called the president an informal “Tu,” when the two met at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
This should not be underestimated because formalities in litigation are the norm in both countries.
But the friendship was also a way of showing a united front, both within the European Union and against the outside world, where Franco-British relations were freezing and conflicts in Belarus and eastern Ukraine greatly affected Berlin.
Confidence in Europe
We desire that our two countries work together; We share a firm belief in Europe – which I knew in itself – which we will need in the coming months and years, Macron told AFP.
This does not mean that the two countries will agree on all issues. Germany has always been frugal, for example, in the EU budget negotiations. Schulz previously served as Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister in Angela Merkel’s government, and his response did not signal a sharp change of course.
“We talked about trying to maintain growth, which has been helped by recovery funds,” Schulz said, but he added:
– At the same time, we need to work for solvency in our finances. This in itself is not a contradiction.
Two days after acceptance
The Social Democrat Schulz began his international tour just two days after the change of power in Germany.
After Paris, which is traditionally considered the first target of the German chancellor, Brussels awaits.
Schulz meets compatriot Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Schulz will also meet with Council President Charles Michel, among others, to prepare for next week’s EU summit.
Finally, he will hold talks with NATO President Jens Stoltenberg to stress the importance of the defense alliance to the security of Germany, Europe and the transatlantic, according to Agence France-Presse. NATO headquarters is located in Brussels.
On Saturday, Schulz will receive Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (South) in Berlin, where, in addition to bilateral deliberations, she will address the Congress of German Social Democrats (SPD).
Schulz was elected new chancellor on Wednesday after Angela Merkel stepped down after sixteen years in power. The Social Democrat was previously Finance Minister in Merkel’s government and before that, among other things, mayor of Hamburg.
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