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REFILE Hollande: France, Germany must 'set a course' for post-Brexit Europe

Europe
30.03.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Paris (dpa) - French President Francois Hollande Thursday said that France and Germany needed to "set a course" for Europe in the aftermath of Britain‘s decision to leave the European Union.

"Our two countries are essential so that all of Europe can move forward," Hollande said after a meeting in Paris with newly-elected German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"France and Germany now have the clear responsibility to set a course for Europe," Hollande said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday formally notified Brussels of Britain‘s intention to leave the European Union with a letter that triggered two years of Brexit negotiations.

Paris and Berlin should "give our respective peoples a vision so that we can be fully engaged to build the Europe of the future," the Hollande said.

The alliance between France and Germany has long been the key relationship at the heart of the EU‘s internal politics.

Steinmeier, whose visit to Paris is his first foreign trip since being sworn in last week, joined Hollande in stressing the importance of the European project.

"Germany and France have a greater - an even greater - responsibility to protect European integration," he said.

Hollande backed European Council President Donald Tusk‘s position that the conditions for Britain‘s departure from the bloc would have to be agreed before negotiations started on any future relationship.

British leaders had hoped to start discussing future trading terms in tandem with the talks on how the country would end its EU membership, which are expected to take two years.

 

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