German leaders call for "better" EU after Brexit vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday called for a "better" EU following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

In her weekly video podcast, Merkel said the European Union's remaining 27 member states had identified three areas "where we need to improve and become more effective: Competitiveness, jobs and growth."

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel echoed Merkel's comments at a party conference, saying that "We need to make Europe better."

Gabriel said the British vote to leave the bloc in a June referendum gave Europe the chance to change to ensure more support.

"We need to start decontaminating Europe," Gabriel said, criticizing the bloc's harsh austerity measures in response to financial crises.

Horst Seehofer, the party leader of the Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) to Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), had said earlier in the week that Europe needed to focus on central issues and not get bogged down in bureacracy.

Gabriel and president of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, had together authored a 10-point programme calling for a relaunch of the EU to strengthen the bloc and bring it closer to its citizens.

Last update: Sat, 02/07/2016 - 22:54
Author: 

More from Europe

Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders found guilty of hate speech

Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders has been found guilty of hate speech for leading a chant against Moroccans...

Vatican places migrants' boat in 2016 Christmas Nativity scene

The European migration crisis features at the centre of the Vatican's Christmas Nativity scene this year, in a...

Police say 98 clubs impacted in child abuse investigations

Police say 98 clubs are impacted and 83 potential suspects have been identified in allegations of non-recent child...

One in six workers in EU earns low wages, according to report

Nearly one in every six employees in the European Union is earning the lowest of wages, according to the European...

Ukraine moves to ban imports of Russian books

The import of Russian books into Ukraine would be sharply limited under new legislation passed in the Ukrainian...