Macron makes rare state visit to Germany to boost ties, defend democracy

Emmanuel Macron has begun the first state visit to Germany by a French president in 24 years, to boost ties between the two countries and to emphasise the importance of defending democracy against nationalism in upcoming European elections.

“Franco-German relations are indispensable and important for Europe,” said Macron at the start of his three-day state visit to Germany on Sunday. He rebuffed the suggestion that the relationship, often described as the engine of Europe, has begun to stutter.

Upon landing in Berlin, Macron immediately travelled to the German capital’s government quarter to meet with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and attend a democracy-themed festival.

Steinmeier greeted Macron and called his visit “proof of the depth of the Franco-German friendship”. He said that despite sometimes differing on individual policy points, Berlin and Paris always “come to an agreement in the end”.

The French president also emphasised the importance of the European elections in June and called the European Union a defender of democracy and common values. He warned of a “form of fascination for authoritarianism which is growing” in the two EU nations. “We forget too often that it’s a fight,” to protect democracy, Macron said.




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