German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers her speech about the European policy ahead of a EU summit at the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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Brexit offers the European Union an opportunity for a broad rethink of its financial set-up, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday before an EU summit that will tackle the bloc's future budget.Addressing the Bundestag (lower house of parliament), Merkel made clear that the future of the EU would be a priority in her fourth term, provided a coalition deal between her conservatives and the pro-EU Social Democrats is approved by SPD members.Merkel sought to reassure those in her conservative bloc who are more skeptical about deeper EU integration and paying out for poorer, debt-ridden member states.The AfD made clear it rejects bigger payments to the EU.The chancellor, at risk of being supplanted as Europe's most influential leader by French President Emmanuel Macron, said the EU should be more ambitious in developing a response to growing global political and economic pressures.
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