Merkel and Cameron Get Closer over EU Powers
By Dominic Gover | January 24, 2013 4:33 AM EST
German chancellor Angela Merkel threw a European lifeline to David Cameron after he unveiled the referendum which could see Britain walk out of the European Union.
Merkel indicated that Germany was willing to be flexible during negotiations about Britain taking back powers from Brussels.
Cameron announced a plan for an in/out vote in 2017 after Britain had negotiated a new settlement with the European Union.
The PM insisted he wanted Britain to stay in the bloc because he was confident summit talks would be a success and Britain would get what it wanted.
Merkel's comments suggested that talks could be fruitful. Germany is one of the most influential countries in the eurozone.
Merkel said: "Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union.
"We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas."
Her comments contrasted with those of other senior French politicians. Foreign minister Laurent Fabius called Cameron's speech "dangerous" and said he opposed Britain "cherry-picking" which powers to take back and which to delegate to Brussels. "No to Europe á la carte," he said.
Integration more important than ever
Spain's foreign minister José García-Margallo insisted that European should focus on forging deeper ties, not loosening them.
He said: "[Britain] can't demand a renegotiation of the [EU] treaties to tear up what we have done or slow down the EU's cruising speed at a time when integration is more important than ever."
More supportive noises for Cameron's stance on European membership came from Holland, the country in which the prime minister originally intended to deliver his keynote speech, and Finland.
Finland's foreign minister Alex Stubb tweeted: "Cameron speech more constructive than expected. Like most of the economic principles. Disagree on [eurozone] deepening."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Getting Serious With Jennifer Lawrence, Actress Joining Coldplay Tour [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Ukraine Crisis: Putin Dangles Nuclear War Threat, US Senators Advise Sending Defensive Weapons
- James Foley Is A Spy – Jihadi Recruiter Reveals
- Australia's Renewable Energy Industry Braces for Removal of Support
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- Australia Races Against Potential Genocide In Iraq
- Apple iPhone 6 Actual Release Date after September 9 Confirmed 128GB Variant with New Resolution
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Google Chrome 64-bit for Windows 8 and Window 7 with Mac Beta Available
- Apple iOS 8 vs Android 5.0 L: OS Wars Puts Android to Lower while Apple to Higher
- Nexus 6 on Release Date Confirmed with Phablet-Size Display as FCC Filing Hints of 5.9-Inch Screen
- Google Can Kill Samsung with Android KitKat and Android One: Here's How