French and German leaders meet to finalise eurozone reform proposals

French and German leaders meet to finalise eurozone reform proposals

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Berlin today for ongoing eurozone reform negotiations. The

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron arrive at a ceremony at the Chancellery in Berlin

Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Berlin today for ongoing eurozone reform negotiations.

The Franco-German eurozone reform plan, stemming from June’s Meseberg Declaration, has been under negotiation since the summer, when a general blueprint was first unveiled. President Macron has long pushed for a eurozone budget, funded by member states and European transaction taxes.

Chancellor Merkel has only recently warmed to the idea, though the details of the budget plan have yet to be announced. Ms Merkel addressed the European Parliament regarding eurozone reform last Tuesday, endorsing a modest eurozone budget aimed toward investment and development in poorer member states.

With the eurozone’s two preeminent powers behind the reforms, the bloc looks toward expanding economic cooperation and integration. Major hurdles remain, though, as the EU is far from unanimity on a budget proposal. Indeed, the Netherlands has been notably critical of the plan, voicing concerns over transaction taxes and potentially self-defeating incentives for lower-income members. In any event, France and Germany’s collaboration speaks to European solidarity, even though grand eurozone reform plans are likely years away from passing.

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