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Macron says Britain could have a place in 'reformed' EU

Macron says Britain could have a place in 'reformed' EU”

French President Emmanuel Macron set out an ambitious vision for the reform of the European Union this afternoon, including a shared budget across member states.

"By the start of the next decade, Europe must be provided with a common intervention force, a common defense project and a common doctrine with which to act", Efe quoted Macron as saying. "We shouldn't be afraid to say this and to want it", he said.

"Merkel has secured a fourth term as chancellor, but emerged weakened, facing hard coalition talks and reduced chances to proceed with a compromising attitude towards Macron's demands for a more integrated Europe", said Adriaan Schout, coordinator of European Union (EU) affairs at Clingendael, the Hague-based institute for global relations.

"In this reformed and simplified EU that I'm proposing, I cannot imagine that the United Kingdom could not find its place", he said, without making it clear whether he was suggesting Britain could reverse its decision - or rejoin the union at a later stage.

If the FDP becomes a coalition partner, it will be hard for Merkel to realize such a move, said Darvas.

Weakened by the worst result for her party since 1949 and facing a more fractious political landscape at home, Germany's Angela Merkel could be forced to rein in plans to re-shape Europe together with France's Emmanuel Macron. He has made calls for a eurozone budget that would finance investments and stabilize the European economy during crises, as well as a eurozone finance minister and parliament.

Macron has spoken twice with Merkel since Sunday, as well as other European leaders and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, as he fleshes out a speech likely to be closely watched across the continent.

Lady Justice
Lawyers for Britain said a new court should be established to settle legal disputes after Brexit

This budget would at some point need to come from national budgets of countries sharing the euro currency, for instance using domestic taxes on businesses.

To deal with Europe's migration flux, Mr Macron wants a European asylum agency and standard EU identity documents.

Even before the election, officials close to Merkel were playing down the urgency of a reform of the euro zone, describing efforts to secure Europe's borders and agree a fair distribution of refugees across the bloc as higher priorities. "A euro zone budget would set exactly the wrong incentives". "We have to openly discuss all ideas and decide before May 2019". It was not immediately clear whether Macron had managed to go beyond slogans as far as Merkel was concerned.

Juncker's cabinet chief, Martin Selmayr, said European Union leaders would discuss Macron and Juncker's plans for strengthening the eurozone at a summit in Brussels in December.

Italy's EU affairs minister, Sandro Gozi, said the speech would inspire European leaders into action. Those talks are not expected to begin until mid-October and may take several months.

He will also make EU-wide proposals for taxing the USA technology groups Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, accused of paying too little corporate tax on their businesses in Europe.



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