Macron visit to Germany in May to focus on EU ties

By Thomson Reuters Apr 27, 2024 | 8:52 AM

By Andreas Rinke

BERLIN (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Germany in May and will spend more days than planned with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, government sources said, in a sign of their ambition to bring more unity to EU relations.

Macron’s previously announced state visit from May 26-28, might be followed by another trip to Germany in June, the sources told Reuters on Saturday.

This could signal that Franco-German relations remain strong, despite reports of deep disagreement between the two leaders.

Althoguh both leaders show support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion, his approaches on how to help the country differ, with Germany being more cautious about weapon deliveries or sending troops.

At an EU summit last week, Macron and Scholz said they want to jointly implement an EU capital markets union and reduce bureaucracy in the single market.

The sources said that a new Franco-German ministerial meeting was planned in Meseberg, north of Berlin, at the end of May, making Macron stay longer than previously planned.

Macron is under pressure domestically because his party does not have a majority in the National Assembly and polls suggest that Eurosceptic far-right and far-left parties could perform strongly in the EU elections in early June.

Both Macron and Scholz therefore want to emphasize a clearly pro-European course.

The French president will be received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and will give a speech on Europe in Dresden.

In Muenster, he will also receive the city’s Peace Prize on May 28.

Macron had originally planned the state visit for July 2023 but had to cancel it at short notice due to riots in French cities.

A meeting within the framework of the so-called Weimar Triangle, consisting of France, Germany and Poland, is being considered for June, coinciding with a UEFA Euro 2024 football match in Dortmund on June 25 between France and Poland, the sources said.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Maria Martinez, editing by Clelia Oziel)