French government sees European Union credibility in reach with 2018 budget


French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday set out a broad vision for "refounding" the European Union, and called on Germany to join him in a "new partnership" to start implementing it.

Macron called for a joint military "rapid response force", a common defense budget, a single asylum system and an European Union border force.

He also called for a new tax on technology giants such as Facebook and Apple - accused of paying too little corporate tax on their businesses in Europe - and an EU-wide asylum agency to deal with the refugee crisis.

That came after North Korea's foreign minister said a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that its leader Kim Jong Un might not be around for too much longer, amounted to a declaration of war. "Europe needs courage. Thank you for your support for the work of the European Union institutions", Juncker said on Twitter.

Juncker's chief-of-staff Martin Selmayr, who kept up a stream of tweets throughout Macron's address at the Sorbonne highlighting similarities between his proposals and those of Juncker, tweeted: "Rarely Europe saw such convergence of views between a French president a Commission president".

"The markets have been ignoring it, preferring to focus on the drama out of Washington, but the drama out of Washington has not affected the USA economy", Trevisani said.

He offered to reinforce Europe's security and defense by creating "a common intervention force" by 2020, a common budget and a common strategy, a European academy for intelligence service and a common investigation force on terrorism.

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Mr Macron was setting out his ideas before German Chancellor Angela Merkel begins the task of building a coalition government after she suffered a sharp fall in support in Sunday's election, which may hamper her ability to help him deliver reform.

Merkel must now try to form a government that is likely to include the Free Democratic Party (FDP), whose leader is an outspoken critic of Macron's European agenda and has said a eurozone budget would be a "red line".

Macron doesn't want to wait for Britain to leave the EU in 2019 to tie European economies closer together.

"It's a lie that hunkering down on your own country is ever going to be a successful path", Macron said on Tuesday.

Talking up the idea of a common European budget and finance ministry, Macron also said this system would need a common European Public Prosecutor to "punish without delay any unfair practice" within the Single Market.

On economic issues, where Germany has been reluctant to cede further sovereignty, Macron argued for a stronger eurozone budget funded by a dedicated tax.