German Chancellor Angela Merkel held an exchange of views with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Federal Chancellery. At the centre of their discussion stood preparations for next week's Special Meeting of the European Council, where EU heads of state and government will negotiate the specifics of the Recovery Fund and the next Multiannual Financial Framework.

“All 27 member states must come together – we have to reach a unanimous decision,” said Chancellor Merkel, commenting that there was general agreement to act in line with the motto of Germany's Council Presidency: Together for Europe's recovery.

Aid aligned with climate protection

Nevertheless, Chancellor Merkel stated that aid that was not linked to reforms, changes and a focus on the future would not help matters, and that climate protection thus played a large role in this context. Chancellor Merkel made it known that she was impressed by the Netherlands’ active approach with regard to climate protection and reforms. Such steps should be taken everywhere in Europe, she said, “because the world is not sleeping. After this crisis, the cards will surely be reshuffled, and we will see who can really guarantee prosperity for the people of their countries.” In her view, that cannot be done without an economy that is competitive and fit for the future.