Working together for Europe
Topical economic matters will dominate the agenda of the G7 summit in June, explained Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with a look at Africa. As part of the preparation for the summit the Chancellor flew to Paris for talks with French President François Hollande.
On 7 and 8 June 2015, Germany will host the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau, south of Munich.
Agreement on G7 agenda
"In terms of the G7 agenda, I can report that France and Germany are very largely in agreement as to what the priorities should be," said the Chancellor at the press conference following her meeting with the French President.
Topical political matters will form the main focus of Germany’s G7 Presidency. This includes a look at Africa, with health being the predominant issue, said Angela Merkel. In particular, lessons must be learned from the Ebola disaster. Options in the fight against terrorism must also be explored. And of course the situation of the global economy will be another important point on the agenda.
For the G7 meeting Angela Merkel announced an outreach meeting with representatives of the African Union.
Support for the climate change conference
Angela Merkel assured France of support for the climate change conference scheduled for December. The G7 summit is also to be used to prepare for this conference. Efforts will be made to agree on a common agenda of the industrialised states for the climate change conference in Paris, said the Chancellor.
Another focus is women, empowering women to become self-employed and vocational training. "These are all issues that France supports," underscored Angela Merkel.
Franco-German Council of Ministers to meet in March
"We look ahead to the Franco-German Council of Ministers meeting at the end of March, and we discussed the agenda for this event too," said the Chancellor at the press conference.
The digital agenda, research and development and investment initiatives are to play a part here. Angela Merkel announced that the free trade agreements CETA and TTIP and the adoption of these will also be on the agenda.
Implementing the commitments entered into in Minsk
Ukraine too was on the agenda for Angela Merkel and François Hollande. "We are pursuing the same path on Ukraine," said the Chancellor. "Now the commitments entered into last week in Minsk must be implemented."
In response to an initiative launched by Angela Merkel and François Hollande, agreement was reached on 12 February 2015 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, including a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The agreement also included the establishment of a buffer zone and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
"We are now seeing that progress is sluggish and laborious," said Angela Merkel. Yet, although the process is still difficult, she added, "It is worth all the effort." Germany and France will continue to actively support the process.
Aid for Greece
The Chancellor and the French President also discussed Greece’s request for an extension to the bailout programme. Angela Merkel stated, "Major substantial improvements are still needed to what is being discussed." Only then can the German Bundestag vote on the deal in the next few weeks.
The meeting of the EU finance ministers in Brussels has issued in the intensive phase of this work. "Here too Germany and France are consulting and coordinating their actions closely," stated the Chancellor.