Macron in Berlin: French President’s First Visit to Germany in 24 Years

The French president will be in Germany for three days, visiting Berlin, Dresden, and Münster

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Berlin on May 26 will be the first visit by a French president to Germany in 24 years. There have been numerous meetings between Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz in recent years, but the meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier makes this trip a true state visit not seen since 2000, when Jacques Chirac was French president and the EU was on the eve of eastward expansion.

Macron will be accompanied by his wife Brigitte, and after his meeting with Steinmeier will meet Berlin Mayor Kai Wagner, with whom he will cross the Brandenburg Gate. Later, on May 27, he will visit Dresden and then Münster. There will be a celebration of the German Constitution’s 75th anniversary, a visit to the Holocaust Memorial, and then a more technical meeting with a discussion between the two governments in the presence of Chancellor Scholz.

Olaf Scholz

The talks between the two major EU powers will focus on the next European elections and the agenda for the next five years, which will be set with regard to new foreseeable difficulties if right-wing groups succeed; the situation in Ukraine and the future prospects of the European Union, particularly related to defense, especially in view of the possible soon election of Donald Trump.

Overall, it will be a way to strengthen Franco-German relations between two leaders who have taken very different positions, from defense to tax reforms to nuclear power, and who are seeking a synthesis between ceremonial visits and more technical meetings.