The Wall Street Journal: Merkel outlines proposals for overhauling EU, including joint budget

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined proposals for overhauling and strengthening the architecture of the European Union in an interview published on Sunday, including combining nations’ defense capabilities and building a common investment fund for the eurozone.

While the suggestions broadly matched known German positions about the bloc’s future, they marked Merkel’s most direct and detailed reaction to proposals for overhauling the EU that French President Emmanuel Macron laid out in September.

The proposals, including beefing up an existing backstop for cash-strapped members of the eurozone and creating a joint budget for the currency union, came after capital markets briefly sank after the formation of a populist Italian government last week, evoking memories of the 2010 eurozone crisis.

They also come against a backdrop of mounting trans-Atlantic tension after President Donald Trump slapped the EU with steep tariffs on steel and aluminum. Some analysts have predicted his aggressive stance could prompt EU members to bury their differences on a number of divisive issues.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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