EU recovery package in spotlight as Angela Merkel addresses European Parliament
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is in Brussels as her country takes over the reins of the EU Council presidency from Croatia.
Merkel will be debating the merits of the trillion-euro rescue package with the European Parliament. MEPs have been calling for a larger role in the budget talks.
Merkel told the chamber that there was no time to waste on finding an agreement for the recovery fund saying they needed it 'before the summer recess', adding 'we all need to make compromises'.
"We shouldn't be naive," she told MEPs. Adding that eurosceptics are waiting to use the crisis to advance their own nationalist interests.
"We can only progress if we protect Europe together."
Next week, EU leaders will meet to try and thrash out a deal for the rescue package. It aims to raise the money on the financial markets, use shared debt for the first time. But some northern European countries oppose having common debt with southern EU countries, such as Greece and Italy.
The German Chancellor also addressed other priority areas of the Germany presidency of the Council.
Referring to the stalled Brexit talks. She said the EU should prepare for a No Deal scenario. But that the aim was for a good deal in the Autumn.
Merkel's speech was peppered with references to solidarity and sticking together.
"Europe is capable if we stick together and stand united," was her closing remark before applause in the chamber.