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Merkel opposes giving EU wider powers

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Merkel opposes giving EU wider powers
Photo: DPA
17:35 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated Sunday she was against handing wider powers to the European Union, seeking instead to bolster economic cooperation between the bloc's 27 countries.

In an interview with Der Spiegel newsweekly, Merkel said she did "not see the need to transfer more powers to the (European) Commission in Brussels in the coming years."

She said she and French President Francois Hollande wanted more coordination between member states, staking out the Franco-German position ahead of a summit later this month where the EU's future will again be up for discussion.

As a way to improve coordination, she and Hollande have proposed creating a permanent president of the eurogroup -- the body that brings together the finance ministers of the 17 countries that share the euro.

That post, held by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is currently appointed for a two-and-a-half-year period.

Merkel also appeared reticent about the idea of a directly elected president of the European Commission that has been floated as a way to pull Europe closer together.

"A directly elected president of the Commission would have completely different powers than is the case today," she said.

At present, the president of the European Commission, the body that proposes legislation in the bloc, is appointed by the leaders of the 27 nations.

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