Fillon discusses future EU policy with Merkel

Fillon discusses future EU policy with Merkel

On Monday, French centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon will meet with Angela Merkel to discuss his plans for EU policy.

Photo: AFP/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen

Photo: AFP/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen

On Monday, French centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon will meet with Angela Merkel to discuss his plans for EU policy.

Mr Fillon is the most likely future president of France. Currently polling at 23% of first round votes – just shy of Marine Le Pen’s 25% – Fillon is tipped to edge out the populist in the second round.

Fillon’s vision for the EU differs significantly from Merkel’s in his approach to refugee policy. The former prime minister wants to reduce migration to the bare minimum and will deny social benefits to immigrants residing in France for less than two years. He’s likely to use Monday’s meeting to pressure Merkel to reconsider stricter border controls within the passport-free Schengen area.

Fillon is also expected to advocate more EU cooperation on defence. On the campaign trail, the centre-right candidate has expressed his desire for closer ties with Russia, assuming Brussels won’t be as high on the list of priorities for the new Trump administration.