Germany and France will push for a broad treaty “refounding and rethinking the organization of Europe,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday.
Speaking in the southern French port city of Toulon, Sarkozy warned that, without some new “convergence” among European countries, the continent’s crushing debt could destroy the euro. His comments come just as he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepare to head to Paris on Monday to work on their proposal ahead of a major EU summit.
“There can be no common currency without economic convergence, without which the euro will be too strong for some, too weak for others, and the eurozone will break up,” the French president said before several thousand sympathizers of his conservative party.
Merkel addressed Germany’s parliament today about Europe’s financial crisis and the EU summit on December 9, where leaders are expected to focus on how best to unify the euro zone.
Merkel voiced her support for the imposition of stricter financial controls on euro-zone countries to prevent them from taking on too much debt. Germany has said that EU treaty amendments would be required to create and enforce such rules.
Though only seventeen countries share the euro, all 27 members of the European Union would have to approve a change to the Maastricht Treaty, which created the euro in 1999. Sarkozy said the treaty “has revealed itself to be imperfect.”
“We need budget discipline and effective crisis management mechanism,” said Merkel. “So we need to change the treaties or create new treaties.”
Though Sarkozy agreed that a new European treaty governing relations between members is necessary to protect Europe’s place in the world, he has rejected Germany’s suggestions that national budgets be approved and regulated in Brussels, saying France will not give up its sovereignty.
During their meeting in on Monday, Merkel and Sarkozy are expected to agree on joint proposals to be presented at next week’s summit.