After calling for Germany “to join forces with France on a very wide range of issues” in his speech on Europe last week, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Villa Borsig today (19 June) in the context of the Franco-German Council of Ministers. Before travelling together to the Council meeting in Schloss Meseberg, the two Foreign Ministers discussed concrete measures to unite and strengthen Europe.
Alongside the need for an effective EU foreign and security policy, the talks between Maas and Le Drian focused on defending multilateralism and a rules-based order. Both sides also discussed joint European initiatives during the period in 2019 and 2020 when both Germany and France will be members of the UN Security Council. In his speech on Europe last week, Maas said: “Under President Macron, France is finding the strength to undertake important reforms and has made far-reaching proposals on the future of Europe. It is perfectly clear to me that our only response to this can be a resounding ‘Yes!’ We do not need to reach agreement on every last detail right at the start of the debate, but given the uncertainty in transatlantic relations in particular, it must be absolutely clear that we are working hand in hand, especially now.”
Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, also met his French counterpart Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, for talks in Villa Borsig, the German Foreign Minister’s guesthouse. Before travelling together to Schloss Meseberg, several German Federal Ministers held bilateral talks with their French counterparts in Villa Borsig.