French President Emmanuel Macron is due to set out plans for reforming the European Union, despite a German election result that is likely to complicate his far-reaching ambitions. Scarlett Cvitanovich-Hodge reports.
As Germans clip Chancellor Angela Merkel's wings, France's president is preparing to unveil his plans for reforming the European Union. On Tuesday (September 26) night, Emmanuel Macron will set out his much-promised vision, including proposals for a separate euro zone budget. But the German election result is likely to complicate his far-reaching ambitions. Merkel had indicated her willingness to work with Macron on a reform agenda. Instead her conservatives saw their support slide on Sunday (September 24), and Merkel is now facing a difficult coalition-building task which in turn could limit her flexibility on Europe. One of her likely partners - the liberal Free Democrats - have already criticized Macron's ideas. And the timing of his speech is likely to be interpreted as an attempt to shape the debate in Germany before coalition talks begin. Merkel on Monday (September 25) struck a note of caution with respect to France's calls for deeper European integration, stating her bloc would support sensible measures but also wanted to see countries become more competitive. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "I won't name anything now that I exclude and I won't draw any red lines. The CDU/CSU will support that what is reasonable." Her reserved tone may unsettle Macron. Just last week he was backed up by Germany as the two countries reacted to British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit speech, with both seeking more clarification before anything can advance.