Angela Merkel comments on the future of the European Union
Despite Britain’s impending Brexit, the German chancellor believes the EU will continue to thrive with more cooperation from member states.
When asked if she feared other countries would quit the bloc, Ms Merkel told the Passauer Neue Presse: "No. Individual member states of course have different ideas about how we shape the future, but the overall way forward is clear, more cooperation."
She added that defence, control of the EU's external borders, economic policy and the fight against Islamist militancy were areas for cooperation.
Ms Merkel believe the future of the European Union will be about more cooperation
Prime Minister Theresa May will next Wednesday launch a two-year countdown to Brexit.
But Ms Merkel said Mrs May's impending letter would not overshadow the EU's 60th anniversary summit.
She added: “The work for the coming years will go in both directions: On the one hand, the exit negotiations with Britain, and on the other considerations about making the EU of 27 members fit for the future.”
Theresa May has announced she will officially notify the EU of Brexit next week Angela Merkel's ever changing face Mon, March 20, 2017
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and her ever changing face
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The overall way forward is clear, more cooperation
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Her comments come as talks on Turkey’s accession to the European Union were suspended over concerns on its human rights and rules of law last year.
Turkey is planning an April 16 referendum on constitutional changes that would extend President Tayyip Erdogan's powers.
Earlier this month a European legal report called the proposed changes by Turkey a big setback for democracy.
But when asked about whether Turkey’s negotiations to join the EU should be broken off, Ms Merkel said she would defer her answer until after the Islamic Republic’s referendum next month.
She said: "We should await the vote on the referendum in Turkey and everything else."
But the German leader said she had taken the report by the Venice Commission, a panel of legal experts at the Council of Europe, very seriously.
Turkey has rejected the report.
Speaking about her meeting with US President Donald Trump last week, Ms Merkel said she had stressed the importance of German investments on the American economy.
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German officials have said the stalled US-European trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is "on ice" but talks could be rekindled if there is US interest.
Ms Merkel added: “Trade agreements should bring benefits to both sides, and we need to negotiate on that.
"Now we will see whether we can revive negotiations on our TTIP trade and investment agreement."