In a government declaration delivered before the Bundestag on 12 December 2007, Merkel said that "there must not be a Europe of private functions". Less than a week ago, Merkel and Sarkozy had jointly spoken out in favour of deepened co-operation between the EU and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean.
Now, Merkel made it understood that Germany wishes to play its part in this partnership: "If there are group-specific co-operations within the EU, those have to be open to all member states. She explicitly referred to Sarkozy's plans for a Mediterranean Union and added: "Europe can only succed jointly. Let's not forget that, even if some discussions are cumbersome."
Ahead of the European summit in Brussels on 14 December, Sarkozy's plans for a Mediterranean Union are largely seen as a replacement for the word "accession" that has been deleted, following French pressure, from a key document adopted at the EU foreign ministers meeting on 10 December (EurActiv 11/12/07).
After his meeting with Merkel in Paris on 6 December, Sarkozy said the the two heads of state had "agreed [...] to work on a common proposal with a view to giving all European countries an opportunity to play the role that they wish in the Mediterranean Union process".
Merkel stressed, at that time, that Germany "supports the French initiative". However, she added: "I think an offer has to be made to all other European countries [...] If there are any countries which do not wish to take part, it can be be done through enhanced co-operation. But the Mediterranean region is a mission for all of us in Europe."