French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin, on June 18, in preparation for the European Union Council meeting that will take place on June 24 and 25. The two leaders got prepared together for the upcoming European Council. As the German Chancellor prepares to hand over the 16 years-flag after the elections in Germany on September 26, experts point out that the meeting between Germany and France is pretty notable. Indeed, the weight of Germany and France will be important as EU heads of state at the summit discuss foreign relations, including the pandemic, economic recovery, migration and tensions with Turkey and Russia. So what came out of the meeting of the two leaders and what should we expect from the EU Summit for Turkey?

A few months before her departure, Merkel received Macron for a one-on-one dinner, a discussion devoted to long-separating European issues. The President of France became the first foreign leader to be invited to the German capital this year due to the health crisis. German Chancellor and French President demonstrate Franco-German rapprochement ahead of the European summit on 24 and 25 June. In fact, with the end of the Merkel era with the elections to be held in Germany this year, it remains unknown whether there will be a parallel change on the French side, where the far right has not fallen off the agenda. So how does this situation determine the post-Merkel EU and Turkey's position in the EU? It does not seem possible to get the answer to this question from this EU summit. Nevertheless, we should not underestimate the German-France rapprochement for Turkey.


At the press conference held after the meeting of the two leaders, Macron expressed that he thinks they have succeeded in instilling the idea that European defense and the strategic autonomy of the EU are not an alternative project to the Transatlantic Organization, but a solid component that they accept that the Europeans should get their share of. This shows that France approves Germany's current foreign policy. In other words, in line with the policies followed by Germany today, Macron takes over the flag during his rule.


It was understood from the talks that the political sensitivity of the USA to the EU was also of great importance for the two leaders. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel praised the spirit of cooperation displayed by US President Joe Biden during his first visit to Europe in recent days. "We can all be happy that the United States has once again created an environment of cooperation where everyone should do their part," said Angela Merkel. Macron also underlined that “Biden is very pleased that the US has expressed political respect for the EU and its willingness to work with the EU as a partner.”


Macron and Merkel also displayed a similar picture in their evaluations of relations with Turkey. Underlining that they are dependent on each other on many issues with Turkey in order to shape certain issues together, despite having differences of opinion, Angela Merkel touched upon the necessity of working together despite disagreements on issues such as migration, Libya and the future of Syria. Emphasizing that he agrees with Merkel on Turkey and Russia issues, Macron stated that in relations with Turkey, the strategic stance of the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya and the Caucasus should be taken into account, as well as the EU members Greece and the Republic of Cyprus. Expressing that the conditions determined in the past months regarding relations with Turkey will be discussed, Macron stated that they will discuss the strategic positions in the said regions. At the EU leaders' summit, the relations between Turkey and the EU, which have been strained recently, are also on the agenda. The EU had decided to impose gradual sanctions on Turkey, arguing that Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean were against international law. However, the discussion on whether to impose additional sanctions was postponed to this summit. Turning to EU relations with Russia, Angela Merkel said the bloc should continue its dialogue with Moscow, despite the great differences in security problems and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. “If we want security and stability in the European Union, we have an interest in staying in dialogue with Russia, no matter how difficult it may be,” Merkel said. Emmanuel Macron also emphasized that a common line should be found.


It is understood that they prepared for the EU Summit together and was the first leader to be invited to Berlin for a dinner since the beginning of the pandemic, and the improved relations between Germany and France left their mark on the EU summit. The result for Turkey from the meeting between the two leaders is the confirmation of their interdependence in shaping the issues between the EU and Turkey. Considering that before the summit, German Chancellor Merkel and EU Commission President von der Leyen demanded the development of a refugee agreement with Turkey, and that the Customs Union and the resumption of high-level contacts are also on the agenda of the EU leaders' summit, more cooperation-oriented issues between Turkey and France will be on the table in the coming days. It will not be considered out of place to comment that it will be invested.