Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth met the French Minister of State for European Affairs, Harlem Désir, for talks in Berlin today (11 April).
After the talks, Minister of State Roth issued the following statement:
I am delighted that Harlem Désir was able to come to Berlin just one day after taking up office. During our frank talks, there was a high degree of agreement between us on the important tasks ahead. This includes a bold and impassioned appeal to citizens to play an active role in the European elections.
In our view, one of the key messages is: together we are working for a Europe imbued with social cohesion and solidarity. Laying the foundations for stable and sustainable growth must now be at the top of the European and Franco-German agendas. We regard combating the alarmingly high unemployment rate among young people in Europe as one of our uppermost priorities.
Of course, we also had an in-depth exchange on international issues, for instance the situation in Ukraine and Franco-German cooperation on foreign and security policy issues. I am pleased that our first meeting was such a success and am looking forward to working with Harlem.
I reaffirmed that the German Government is keen to see the rigorous reforms in France succeed. As France’s closest partner, Germany is prepared to do whatever it can to help. An economically strong and stable France is in the interest of both Germany and France.
Following the Government reshuffle in France, Harlem Désir was appointed to his new post on 9 April 2014. Traditionally, the posts of Minister of State for European Affairs and Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation are held by one person. Minister of State Roth performs this role on the German side. The Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation are responsible, among other things, for the coordination of Franco-German cooperation at governmental level and the promotion of closer relations between the two civil societies.