German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that talks to set the European Union’s budget for the coming seven years will be “very difficult” at an extraordinary summit beginning February 20 in Brussels.
“We think our concerns are not sufficiently addressed on many points, and I therefore see very tough and difficult negotiations ahead,” Merkel told reporters at a Berlin press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (pictured).
Germany and Finland belong to the circle of mainly northern European EU members that pay more into the EU budget than they get out, known as “net contributors“.
EU heads of state or government will discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 during a special meeting of the European Council on 20 February 2020.
In his invitation letter, the President of the European Council Charles Michel said: “The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the multiannual financial framework.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin schedules bilateral meetings with Ukrainian, French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Vladimir Zelensky at margins of the Normandy Four Summit in Paris on December 9, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced.
Peskov underlined that the Kremlin expected the Normandy Four summit will contribute to conflict resolution in southeastern Ukraine.
“[Putin’s] attitude is serious, the only expectation is to facilitate efforts to resolve the domestic conflict in southeastern Ukraine, ensure a common understanding that there is no alternative to implementing the Minsk Agreements and prevent attempts to dilute them,” spokesperson said.
Peskov expressed confidence in French authorities capabilities to succeed in creating necessary conditions for thec Summit despite the current protests in Paris.
“We are not inclined to exaggerate the threats the Summit could face as we believe that the French authorities are capable of creating conditions for the meeting and will do it,” Peskov said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on November 12 that she expected Westminster to approve British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Article 50 deal with the European Union.
The United Kingdom voted by 52%-48% in 2016 to leave the EU, albeit without deciding how it would be done with or without a deal.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Germany for its vital contributions to the Alliance in talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 7, 2019.
Speaking at a press conference at the Chancellery, Mr. Stoltenberg praised Germany’s leadership of multinational NATO forces in Lithuania, its hosting of the Alliance’s new mobility command in Ulm and its important contributions to NATO operations from Afghanistan to Kosovo and the Aegean Sea.
The two leaders also discussed preparations for the meeting of NATO leaders in December in London, including the need for higher readiness of NATO forces and fairer burden-sharing within the Alliance.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting is planned soon, a spokesman for the German government said on August 16, he added that details would be announced later.
Previously the were reports that the German Chancellor will “stick to the line” that the so called “backstop” of Irish border can’t be removed, and the Withdrawal Agreement can’t be changed according to a Finance Ministry paper.
The EU leaders discussion of the attribution of bloc’s top jobs started at late dinner concluding agenda of Summit in Brussels (#EUCO). However the chances to come to an agreement remain minimal as France and Germany cast doubt on any imminent deal, also the Eastern European member-states (Vicegrad 4) vividly opposed both leading candidates from biggest European political groups the EPP and S&D for various reasons.
The 28 national leaders meet in Brussels on June 20-21 to assign the top jobs of the bloc for coming years on the entire spectrum of issues.
“In Europe, our coalition of progress must prevail. We need to find the women and men who can carry an ambitious roadmap at the heart of the European institutions. This is a key issue for the European Council meeting today“, French President Emmanuel Macron said at arrival to the European Council.
Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament, was reminiscent of cardinals locked to select a Pope, hinting of disagreements among the member-states, and European political families.
However the nominations should be made before the new European parliament starts its session on July 2 in Strasbourg. By the time the European Council has to announce the major appointments, including the top job of the President of the European Commission, de facto “Prime Minister of Europe“.
European Union leaders clashed over future EU institutions top jobs, primary of powerful position of the European Commission president, promising to meet a deadline for appointments at June Summit (20-21/6).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced resistance when French President Emmanuel Macron publicly rejected the Bavarian politician Manfred Weber, her preferred candidate, a center-right (European People’s Party) Member of the European Parliament.
After the EU elections the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) would no longer be able to form a majority in the European Parliament to determine the next Commission head.
The EPP are have to turn for support to the liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), or/and the Greens, since three groups assembly needed to approve any nomination by the 28 heads of states.
The national government leaders agreed to finalize their nominations at end semester Summit on June 20-21, well ahead Jean-Claude Juncker mandate expiration at the end of October.
Among leading figures to heir the job of Jean-Claude Juncker, next to Manfred Weber, three oher names were announced by the President Macron: Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans, Danish Liberal Margrethe Vestager,and the EU top Brexit negociator Michel Barnier, “and others”.
At Informal Summit in Brussels the EU leaders bargained behind closed doors, but by the end of the meeting the Council president Donald Tusk announced that there is a target of assigning half of top jobs to women.