Merkel, Hollande stress need for EU unity
28 Jan 2017 - 12:07
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande vowed on Friday to work together to address the growing number of challenges faced by the European Union.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Hollande in Berlin, Merkel underlined the importance of unity among EU member states.
“The European Union faces big internal and external challenges, and both of us share the conviction that we can only meet these challenges by working together,” she said.
Merkel said that in order to defend the liberal democratic order and free trade, as well as addressing various economic challenges, EU member states should continue their close cooperation and each member should bear its responsibilities.
Hollande described terrorism as one of the most important challenges faced by all EU member states and underlined that France and Germany would continue their solidarity in the fight against such acts, amid recent attacks which targeted Paris and Berlin.
He also expressed concern over new U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy and views on trade ties with Europe.
“We have to also deal with challenges posed by the new U.S. administration with regards to trade rules as well as our position to resolve conflicts around the world,” the French leader said.
Hollande mentioned Brexit and the rise of populist movements as other important challenges, and said EU leaders would seek unity on all these issues at their meeting in Malta next month.