PARIS | The president of the French national Assembly, and his German counterpart call Tuesday to re-open it as soon as possible borders between european countries, after several weeks of closure due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“France and Germany must work for the re-establishment immediate of the free movement within the Schengen area when the conditions are fulfilled”, stressed Richard Ferrand and Wolfgang Schäuble in a joint statement obtained by AFP.
“The closure of the franco-German border has already far-reaching consequences that go well beyond the border region and weigh in particular on the perception of franco-German relations,” said Mr Ferrand, member of the centrist party, LREM the president and Emmanuel Macron, and Wolfgang Schäuble, a heavyweight of the movement conservative CDU party of chancellor Angela Merkel, in arguing for “rapid action”.
This text is published for two days in a meeting of the parliamentary Assembly of the franco-German, a new forum of the two chambers created to strengthen relations between the two countries. It will be devoted to the lessons to be learned in Europe of the pandemic COVID-19.
To date, a reopening of the borders is set in the interior of Europe from the mid-June, but so far the ads are in the disorder between european countries despite calls from the european Commission to further consultation.
The presidents of the two chambers of deputies have also in their statement “welcomed” and gave their “support” to the recent proposal of the head of the French State and the chancellor in view of a recovery plan in Europe, with 500 billion euros, following the pandemic, and is financed by indebtedness incurred by the european Union.
A project that is controversial because it breaks a taboo at the european level in terms of debt mutualisation.
It is necessary that “Europe to emerge stronger after the crisis of the sars coronavirus,” they say.
The two managers go even further in calling them “now to launch a decade of investments, and” public ” in Europe, in health, climate protection or security.
“The initiative of our two governments should be the kick-off to develop a sort of new Schuman Plan”, they add, in reference to the founding text of european integration, published in may 1950, it was exactly 70 years.
More specifically, Mr Schäuble spoke out in an interview with the AFP for “greater political integration” of Europe, passing if necessary through changes to the treaties.
He warned that this would “not be easy” given to appetite “limited” to some EU countries for additional transfers of national sovereignty to the european level.
But “if France and Germany are together there is a chance of getting to the results,” ruled Mr Schäuble, citing, inter alia, issues of economic cooperation, defence and foreign policy.
“We consider that the time has come to focus on the content of the european project, to discuss what we want to do together. What do we want to save? What do we want to remake?”, said for his part Mr. Ferrand to the AFP.