European leaders meet in Berlin
The key European leaders meet in Berlin yesterday ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany next week. In particular, the "limited" European summit was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, as well as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.
As a result of the meeting, a joint press conference of European leaders was held in the same composition. The only exception was British Prime Minister Theresa May, who, unlike her "continental colleagues", didn't took part in a meeting with journalists - another symbolic confirmation of the "divorce" between the UK and the EU. The other listed European politicians demonstrated unity and full mutual understanding in their speeches. They did not say a word about Brexit, as well the issue of European sanctions against Russia, which were recently extended for six months. The main topics of discussion were climate, free trade, international terrorism and migration.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again expressed her regret over the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. In addition, Merkel declared her readiness to fight "protectionism and isolationism", obviously hinting at the unacceptable for her policy of US President Donald Trump. Merkel called international terrorism the most important challenge facing the world, and in this area she sees a wide field for close interaction with the United States. "We have our own commonalities and differences. The United States of America is an important part of the G20, and we will do everything to work together," Merkel briefly commented on the current contradictions between Berlin and Washington.
French President Emmanuel Macron also confirmed his country's intention to comply with the Paris Climate Accord and expressed hope that in the medium term Europeans will be able to return the US to a "reasonable position" on this issue. Macron opposed the "isolation of the United States" on the sidelines of the G20 over topical contradictions on the climate issue and noted the importance of agreeing a general statement on the results of the summit. "We must continue an intensive dialogue with the United States. We may have differing opinions in certain areas, but we should not stop the discussion," Macron noted, saying he shares US interests in the fight against international terrorism. "We need the US in military terms," the French leader frankly admitted. The French president also did not ignore the topic of the globalization of trade relations - another stumbling block between the US and Europe. "At the moment, Europe is the only place with a true representation of free trade," Macron believes. Speaking about the fight against international terrorism, the French president focused on the fight against its financing. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in turn, focused on the need to combat the spread of radicalism on the Internet.
The topic of the migration crisis was first of all touched upon by the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, Paolo Gentiloni, which is understandable given the plight in which Italy and Greece, first of all, were due to the influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East. "Italy is are under pressure and we are asking our European partners for a concrete contribution," Gentiloni said, pointing to his country's serious concern over the constant growing flow of migrants from African countries. Chancellor Angela Merkel drew attention to the need to stabilize the situation in Libya - after all, most of the migrants arrive in Italy from there. Emmanuel Macron pointed to the need to reform the system of reception of refugees in Europe, as well as operational cooperation between European countries. "However, the true answer to this challenge lies through partnership with African countries and our ability to solve problems in countries from which migratory flows emanate," he concluded.