The German Chancellor Angela Merkel made two significant steps towards accepting some of the key proposals put forward by President Emmanuel Macron regarding the Eurozone’s political integration.
Addressing the Confederation of German Industries (BDI) on Tuesday, the Chancellor said that she would consider both a common budget for the 19 member states of the Eurozone and a joint finance minister.
“We shouldn’t say what is not possible, but rather consider what makes sense,” Merkel noted.
President Macron has put forward a package of political consolidation that includes a budget, a finance minister, but also a common parliament, while the European Commission has echoed these proposals.
BDI President Dieter Kempf said such an institutional framework would allow for the acceleration of reforms that could preempt an economic crisis. However, the leader of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, Christian Lindner, questioned the need for a separate budget as this would overlap with structural funds assistance.
In May, Paris and Berlin agreed to set up a working group on economic policy coordination, which is expected to report in July. That working group will initially focus on tax policy coordination.