Daily Management Review

EU Reform Plans Disclosed By Merkel And Macron


EU Reform Plans Disclosed By Merkel And Macron
There are plenty in common between the proposals that have been given by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron with respect to reforming of the European Union – but there are some large differences as well.  The proposals are to be debated by the EU in its summit in late June.
Refugees and migration
There is need for EU member states to integrate their data systems and work closer with the home countries of refugees with respect to the recent refugee crisis, agree Merkel and Macron. Both the leaders demand that young people especially from Africa should be offered better prospects for the future and efforts should be made to that end. There are plans to launch a kind of "Marshal Plan" for the continent. There is need for closer cooperation with countries bordering the eurozone and for other transit countries, agree both leaders.
A united approach to asylum-seekers needs to be adopted, stresses both Merkel and Macron. The leaders say that it is important to develop common criteria to identify who is and who is not granted asylum. Frontex, the border force of Europe, needs to be made into a fully operational border police over time, emphasize both leaders.
In order to counter "illegal migration", v more opportunities for legal migration into Europe should be created, Merkel and Macron concur.
Reforming the European Commission
Reduction of power of the European Commission is stressed by both Germany's chancellor and the French president. Merkel favors "fewer than before" Commissioners while Macron wants to halve the number of commissioners.
However, there is some degree of disagreement between the leaders on the manner of selection of the president of the Commission. Macron disagrees with Merkel’s suggestion that to make the selection of the president independent of the government of EU member states, a Europe-wide list of candidates be drawn up where each would complete with each other. 
Foreign and defense policy
On issues related to European foreign and defense policy, there is difference in view of Merkel and Macron. Continuing with an EU seat on the UN Security Council and creation of an independent "European Security Council" is professed by Merkel which should be made up of a number of EU member states on a rotating basis.
However, Macron believes that it would be fruitful to create an EU intervention force for military missions overseas. While agreeing with Macron’s proposal of an EU army, Merkel does not want foreign engagement of such a force.
Eurozone plans
In case of financial matters, there are further disputes between the ideas of the two leaders. With respect to reforming the eurozone, Merkel and Macron presented significantly divergent opinions. According to Merkel, an EU monetary fund should be created which should play an important role in the eurozone in the same manner as is done by the commission.
In contrast, Macron wants to increase the budget for the eurozone. In order to prevent future economic crisis in the EU, Macron suggests spending more money to strengthen the EU.