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Macron's State Visit Strengthens France-Germany Ties

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, and French President Emmanuel Macron enter the podium for a press conference at Bellevue Place in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark

President Emmanuel Macron of France has commenced the first state visit to Germany by a French head of state in 24 years. The three-day trip is aimed at reinforcing the strong ties between the European Union's traditional leading powers ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections, where far-right parties in both countries are hoping for gains.

The visit, initially scheduled for last July, was postponed due to unrest in France following a tragic incident. Macron, a frequent visitor to Germany, is now on his first state visit with full ceremonial honors since 2000. He and his wife, Brigitte, are being hosted by Germany’s ceremonial president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Steinmeier emphasized that Macron's visit is a testament to the deep friendship between France and Germany, especially as Germany commemorates the 75th anniversary of its post-World War II constitution and the upcoming 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Visit aims to reinforce EU ties ahead of European Parliament elections.
President Macron's first state visit to Germany in 24 years.
Postponed from last July due to unrest in France.

The state visit includes a state banquet at Bellevue palace in Berlin, followed by visits to Dresden and Muenster. Macron is set to deliver a speech in Dresden and participate in a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and ministers from both countries.

Germany and France, as the EU's largest economies, have historically been the driving force behind European integration, despite occasional policy differences. Macron highlighted the importance of Franco-German cooperation in shaping Europe's future, especially in the face of current global challenges.

Macron warned of the potential consequences if Europe fails to strengthen its defense capabilities amidst the conflict in Ukraine and to implement necessary economic reforms to compete globally. He also addressed the rise of far-right movements in Europe, attributing it to fears of a changing world and advocating for respectful dialogue and effective problem-solving.

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