A good week before the European Council meets, the focus of talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Belgian counterpart Charles Michel was on European issues, the pivotal issue being Brexit.
At a joint press conference, the Chancellor thanked European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for their work on ensuring that the United Kingdom is able to leave the EU in an orderly fashion. "The 27 EU member states have [...] once again made significant, far-reaching proposals that take into account the concerns of the United Kingdom and respond to these," stressed Angela Merkel.
The next meeting of the European Council will be held on 21 and 22 March in Brussels. This is the last official meeting before the planned withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU on 29 March 2019.
Europe and the world
"We’ve manged quite a lot in Europe," said Angela Merkel. In future too, both countries intend to work for a strong Europe that is able to act. For this, the EU will need to be competitive and innovative.
"At the moment we are both members of the United Nations Security Council," said the Chancellor. This is a good opportunity to forge ahead with a more coherent EU line on foreign policy issues in this context too.