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Merkel Declares The European Union Must Be Revitalized

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Merkel: An Impasse in the wake of the Brexit vote must be avoided






An impasse must be avoided now, with respect to Brexit negotiations. And the EU must be “revitalized”, said Chancellor Angela Merkel after a meeting with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin. They clearly affirmed their common commitment to European integration.

On Monday evening Angela Merkel spoke of the “painful and regrettable” decision of British voters. At the Federal Chancellery, flanked by French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Angela Merkel said, “We obviously respect this decision, but the consequences must naturally be considered.”

The United Kingdom must make the first move

The Chancellor pointed out that under the provisions of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the state wishing to leave the European Union must first notify the European Council of its intention. Before this step is taken, she said, there will be no negotiations, formal or informal, with the United Kingdom on its leaving the EU. She pointed out that she completely agreed with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on this matter. She stressed, however, that nobody wants to see an impasse with respect to negotiations. But it is up to the United Kingdom to make the first move.

Joint statement

At the same time Angela Merkel announced that what is now called for is “to revitalize the work of the European Union too”. The aim is above all to identify common ground rather than strengthening “any centrifugal forces in the EU”. With François Hollande and Matteo Renzi, reported the Chancellor, she will be submitting proposals for concrete measures to the other EU member states at the European Council meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. These proposals are listed in a joint statement issued by the three leaders.

Joint statement: In addition to specific measures for closer joint action the statement expresses regret that the United Kingdom will no longer be a partner within the European Union. Nevertheless it reads, “We are fully confident that the European Union is strong enough to find the right response. We have no time to lose.” It continues, “Today we reaffirm our strong commitment to European integration.”

The proposals laid out in the joint statement relate firstly to internal and external security. Angela Merkel pointed to the fight on terrorism, protecting the external borders and coping with the refugee crisis.

Jobs for young people

The second priority is the field of economics, growth and competitiveness. “The main thing is to ensure that we have enough jobs,” said Angela Merkel. Together we intend to consider “what we can change; in this we will be thinking first and foremost about young people”.

The vast majority of young British voters voted to remain in the European Union. “The young people in our countries legitimately expect things to work, expect prospects for the young generation. “That is why we also have to discuss how we can send signals specifically to the young people in our countries,” declared Angela Merkel.

Meeting with the Prime Minister of Ukraine

In the early afternoon, after a meeting with Ukraine’s Prime Minister in Berlin, the Chancellor had already commented on the Brexit vote. She does have a degree of sympathy for the fact that the British government wishes to analyse the impacts of the referendum, Angel Merkel said. The other 27 EU member states must now continue along the path together.

The German Bundestag will meet for a special session on Tuesday. Chancellor Angela Merkel will deliver a government statement. The European Council is to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Final result: 51.9 per cent vote for the Brexit

51.9 per cent of the British electorate voted to leave the EU, and 48.1 per cent voted to remain; 17.4 million voters were in favor of leaving the EU, while 16.1 million expressed their desire to remain. A total of 46.5 million people registered to vote in the referendum. Turnout was 72.2 per cent. In response to the referendum result, the British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will step down by October. He campaigned to remain in the EU.

Every member state of the EU can decide to leave the Union voluntarily. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (the Lisbon Treaty) lays out the procedure. In line with the provisions of this Article, the United Kingdom will firstly notify the European Council of its intention to leave. Then the EU will negotiate an agreement with the UK regulating the details and the future relations between the EU and the United Kingdom. When this agreement comes into effect, but within a maximum period of two years (which can be extended), the provisions of the European treaties will cease to apply to the United Kingdom.

{Source: The Federal Government of Germany Press Office-Media Relations}

[Photo credits-featured image: Symbol of  Brexit – By Rlevente [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

[Intext photos: inserted by (credits embedded)]



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