French President Emmanuel Macron will support German Chancellor Angela Merkel if she seeks to become president of the European Commission. Macron, speaking to Swiss French-language television RTS, said that though he could not speak for the German Chancellor, “… if she wanted it, I would support her.” … “Of course I would, because firstly I think we need someone strong. Europe needs new faces and strong faces, so we need personalities that in effect embody that.”

Merkel, who has said she will retire from politics at the end of her current term, has been a little mentioned outsider for the job, with only few echoes of her name being heard in the corridors of the capital of the European Union.

Macron’s response, at a time where EU leaders are looking for possible alliances for the governance of the Union as it begins to take shape after the May EU elections, is certain to put the spotlight on Angela Merkel, as well as pressure for her to assume the role that even one of her greatest political adversaries on the European party spectrum is calling for.

The French President’s approach signals that there are personalities behind which political forces can rally behind, and alliances forged.