Wednesday

23rd Jan 2019

Germany, Spain and France to work 'hand-in-hand' for Europe

The months of wrangling between Spain and the Franco-German alliance over the Constitution seemed a distant memory yesterday (29 April) as the French President and Spanish premier stressed complete agreement on Europe's future.

After talks between France and Spain, French leader Jacques Chirac said, "In Berlin, as well as in Paris, there is a very strong desire to walk down the European road hand-in-hand with Spain", according to AFP.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero replied, in slightly less flowery style, "France and Spain must work together to build an active, dynamic and strong Europe".

All change

What a difference 5 months make.

In December, Madrid - albeit with a different government - was fighting tooth and nail to preserve their voting rights gained in the Treaty of Nice.

France and Germany were equally stubborn on the issue and it seemed the deadlock would never be broken.

But the terrorist attacks in March and the subsequent change of government in Spain has changed the political landscape in Europe and has enabled progress to be made.

And now Mr Zapatero says that "Spain will spare no effort to reach an agreement in this present term". The Constitution is expected to be signed in mid-June.

Arguments over money

But as in any close relationship, not everything runs completely smoothly and often the root of the problem is money. This is the case with this new menage-a-trois.

Berlin and Paris want to see a lower maximum limit placed on the EU budget for the period 2007-2013 but Madrid believes that the ceiling should be much higher.

MEPs redouble appeal on sexual harassment

The EU parliament's internal chiefs have so far refused to introduce mandatory training on dealing with sexual harassment. MEPs have now asked for it again.

Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret

A number of centre-right MEPs are pushing for a secret ballot on a plenary vote that would make EU lawmakers more transparent and accountable to the public - in a move described as "absurd" by Transparency International.

Lead MEP on Morocco resigns as her report passes

MEPs ultimately adopted a controversial report on an EU trade deal with Morocco - despite the sudden resignation by French liberal Patricia Lalonde as the file's rapporteur only moments beforehand. Her departure follows an EUobserver investigation into lobbying by Morocco.

News in Brief

  1. Study: Tax evasion cost five time as much as EU budget
  2. Dublin: Bilateral Brexit deal may be needed with UK
  3. Bulgaria plans to stop selling EU 'golden passports'
  4. Romanian EU presidency plans March summit with Turkey
  5. EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine
  6. Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases
  7. Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter
  8. Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Tajani wants second term as EU parliament president
  2. EU commissioner floats idea for European space force
  3. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  4. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B
  5. European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups
  6. What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?
  7. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  8. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us