The city of Hamburg is to host the G20 summit 2017, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced during the traditional Matthaie-Mahl or banquet Friday in the Hamburger Rathaus. Merkel said: “I believe that it is well suited to Hamburg’s cosmopolitanism.” The summit of the heads of state and governments from the most important industrialised countries and emerging economies will probably take place in July. Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron were honorary guests at the traditional Matthaie-Mahl. And the Council of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be held under the German presidency in Hamburg towards the end of 2016.
Praise for European commitment
In the run-up to the EU summit on February 18-19, Mayor Olaf Scholz had wished to send a clear signal with his invitation that Britain is and should remain an important EU member. The mayor welcomed both leaders, who signed the Golden Book of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, in the Rathaus. During his address, Scholz welcomed Britain’s role in Europe and indicated to Cameron: “Your country has achieved plenty in an for Europe.” Britain had contributed a lot towards the EU’s further development, he added.
Examples were German reunification and the EU’s eastward expansion, Scholz said and noted irreplaceable British foreign and security policy. The ability of the EU “to stand on its own feet among the (small circle) of global giants” depends on effective foreign policy. He added: “That can only be achieved when the two European states, Britain and France, whose global politics finds expression through permanent seats on the Security Counci, are there.”
Reforms as prerequisite
During his speech, Cameron said that there are good chances of Britain remaining in the EU in the event of clear reforms. He stressed: “If we can achieve this together, then I will recommend clearly that Britain remains.”
Britons are due will vote in a referendum on a possible “Brexit” or whether to stay in the bloc. To prevent this, heads of state and EU governments wish to accommodate some of Britain’s wishes and agree on reforms during the EU summit on February 18-19 in Brussels.