Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Macron, Merkel pledge to revamp EU

Macron, Merkel pledge to revamp EU

A trained lawyer, he worked as public affairs director for the state nuclear group Areva between 2007 and 2010, before becoming a member of parliament in 2012, and then mayor of Le Havre in 2014.

Mr Philippe's age reinforces the generational shift in France's corridors of power and the image of youthful vigour that Mr Macron is cultivating.

He is a close ally of Alain Juppé, the former prime minister who ran unsuccessfully in the center-right presidential primary past year.

Previous year he was part of Juppe's unsuccessful campaign team in The Republicans' primaries, and then joined the presidential campaign of Francois Fillon, the party's nominee.

Mr Philippe is a close ally of former prime minister and one time candidate for president, Alain Juppe.

Newly-appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (R) is greeted by his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve (L) during a handover ceremony at the Hotel Matignon, in Paris, France, May 15, 2017.

President Emmanuel Macron will visit French troops in Africa on Friday, a source close to the new leader said on Tuesday.

On Monday, his first day in office, he named centre-right MP Edouard Philippe as prime minister and travelled to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on reforming the European Union.

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In Berlin on Monday, the fervently pro-Europe Macron will push for deeper ties in the 28-member European Union to help the bloc overcome the imminent departure of Britain.

He was the first major Socialist politician to decide to back Macron's presidential bid.

The 46-year-old is young and not a traditional French political heavyweight, making good on Macron's promise to reinvigorate politics with fresh faces.

During his studies, Philippe joined the Socialist Party, supporting the then-Prime Minister Michel Rocard. Selecting Philippe as prime minister is seen as a way to bring in more support from the center-right, which Macron will need to push through his proposed economic reforms, according to the BBC.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer also said: "There is agreement within the government that, given the hard situations we in Europe are confronted with, a plan with treaty changes is not a good idea".

Macron's trip to Berlin highlighted his pro-European politics and desire to work with Merkel on what he says must become "a more efficient Europe, a more democratic Europe, a more political Europe". "Germany will only do well in the long-run if Europe does well", Merkel told a news conference after a meeting of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), victors in a regional German vote on Sunday. The movement has already revealed a list of 428 candidates, many of whom who have never held elected office before.

Half of the appointees announced Wednesday are men and half are women. Both the German chancellor and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, assured Macron "that he cannot move a single comma and that the Europe he dreams of - the one dreamed up by the great forgers of European thought - is only possible as long as it fits with what Berlin thinks and the needs of Brussels bureaucrats", the analysis continues.

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