Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron to exchange views on current issues at Schloss Meseberg, the Federal Government’s official state guest house. Macron is the first foreign guest to visit the Federal Republic of Germany since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. “This is a good day not only for German-French relations, but also for Europe,” said the Federal Chancellor in the subsequent press conference.
Against the backdrop of Germany's six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU, which starts on 1 July, as well as France’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2022, Federal Chancellor Merkel and President Macron held particularly intensive talks on European policy. The Federal Chancellor stressed: “Together, Germany and France want to play a role that makes it clear that Europe is our future.” Numerous other bilateral and international subjects were also discussed by the two leaders.
Only strong in the European community
The bilateral talks focussed on Europe's economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis, to which Merkel and Macron attach equally great importance. Both politicians are strongly committed to the European Union. This is reflected in their joint initiative for Europe's economic recovery of 18 May. The German-French agreement is designed to give a positive boost to the whole of Europe. “We all come from different countries, but we can only be strong and play our role in the world in the European community,” said the Federal Chancellor.
Situated 60 kilometres north of Berlin, Schloss Meseberg was the perfect setting for a meeting in the time of the coronavirus: rules on social distancing and hygiene can be adhered to very strictly here. The palace, surrounded by a Baroque park, has served as the Federal Government’s official guest house since 2007. The Munich-based Messerschmitt Foundation, which commissioned the restoration of the building, leases it to the Federal Government for the symbolic annual rent of one euro. Incidentally, it was not President Macron’s first visit here: this is where he and the Federal Chancellor signed what is known as the Meseberg Declaration on 19 June 2018.