“Europe is only strong if it speaks with one voice,” stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is particularly important with respect to international crises, such as those in Libya and Belarus, and in the conflict between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We need stability there – not tensions,” declared Angela Merkel. Germany and France aim to join forces to find good solutions.

With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Chancellor, the goal is to take “more European action”. “The pandemic is not over.”

The aim, she said, is to take a similar response to high-risk areas, rather than having to lock down the entire country again. The two leaders also discussed how the recovery fund and the multiannual financial framework adopted in July by the European Council can be used in order to invest in Europe’s future – to make it more resilient, more independent and more sovereign.

Continuing the afternoon’s talks

Following the press conference, the French President invited the Chancellor to dinner before she returned to Berlin. Over dinner they planned to continue the afternoon’s talks, including the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. As a result of the pandemic, social distancing was obviously observed throughout their meeting.