Germany's Merkel welcomes idea of European aircraft carrier
BERLIN- The Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is endorsing the idea of developing a joint European aircraft carrier, as suggested by her party's leader.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Merkel in December as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, made the proposal in a weekend response to French President Emmanuel Macron's proposals for European Union reform. She noted that Germany and France are already working together on a future European combat aircraft.
She said that "the next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier" to underline the EU's global security role.
Merkel said on March 11 that "it's right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I'm happy to work on it." But she added that "we have to do other things as a priority."
She also backed Kramp-Karrenbauer’s call for a single EU permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), where France is among the five permanent members.
Merkel said that a single European seat was "a very good concept for the future" and would help "to gather the European voices" in the world body.
Germany has for years campaigned for a permanent seat on the UNSC alongside World War II victor nations the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is known, had argued in an article on March 9 for a series of steps toward greater European unity, including on security where she also suggested that Europe operate a joint aircraft carrier in future.