Merkel, Hollande agree on further European integration

Updated: 2013-01-23 04:02

(China Daily)

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BERLIN - Germany and France on Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of a landmark treaty that sealed their post-war reconciliation by an agreement to further the process of European economic and monetary integration.

Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said both countries would take measures to bolster economic growth in the eurozone.

Detailed measures would be unveiled by May as part of the efforts made for the European Union summit in June.

"It is about a deeper cooperation in economic policy with the goal of social security, employment, growth and financial stability," Merkel said.

Paris and Berlin were aware of "our great responsibility" to put an end to the chronic eurozone crisis and to bring the economy back on track of growth, according to Merkel.

The initiatives would be focusing on jobs, growth and competitiveness, she added.

The agreement came as Germany and France celebrated the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1963 Elysee Treaty, which heralded a new era of friendship between the two former foes.

Hollande, for his part, said he was "happy with what France and Germany have been able to accomplish to get the euro zone out of its crisis."

"If you look at the results, it's clear we're on the same wavelength,"  he said.

Both Merkel and Hollande pledged to go all out to underpin economic coordination in the European Union despite differences in crisis management prescriptions between the two countries, with Merkel advocating for even tighter budgetary discipline, while Hollande emphasizing on more solidarity and risk-sharing.

Merkel and Hollande will also attend a concert gala at the Berlin Philharmonic.