In a speech to the Bundestag to mark Germany’s Day of Mourning for those killed in war, Macron said that Germany and France had overcome 200 years of “merciless wars” to make a “lasting peace” and “cement a bedrock of cooperation in all fields.”
DW reports “Acknowledging that Europe faces multiple challenges from climate change to migration, the French leader said only the two neighbours partnership, as part of a unified more sovereign Europe, could help the world avoid sliding into chaos.
“Europe, and within it the Franco-German couple, have the obligation … to guide it on the road to peace,” he added.
Urging Europe to take more responsibility for its defense and security, Macron said the continent must not “become a plaything of great powers … and must not accept a subordinate role in world politics.”
Macron then paid tribute to Germany’s post-World War II record, saying that “no other country has scrutinized its history with so much sincerity and tried to learn its lessons. You decided to never stop trying to overcome ancient quarrels and to work tirelessly for peace.”
Macron also called for Germany and France to dig deeper as allies in their bid to spearhead a more united Europe, including by overcoming lingering scepticism on issues such as a euro zone budget.
“This new phase can be scary as we will have to share, pool together our decision-making, our policies on foreign affairs, migration and development, an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources, build a common defense strategy,” Macron said at the Bundestag.
“We have to overcome our taboos and overcome our habits.”
The French president’s speech was one of a series of events in Berlin on Sunday to mark the Day of Mourning. Earlier, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Macron took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s Neue Wache memorial to remember those killed in war. He also addressed a youth peace conference featuring young delegates from 48 countries in Europe.