January 26, 2018 / 8:30 AM / in a year

SPD leader says EU needs German leadership at time of global challenges

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz arrives for talks at the party headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Germany, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Heading into coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said the European Union needed Germany to resume its leadership role in the bloc in the face of international challenges.

“On the day when the U.S. president is due in Davos, where he will underline once again that the U.S. is taking a new direction, ... and given the challenges from China and the U.S., the EU needs a strong, pro-European Germany,” Martin Schulz said on Friday.

The SPD is pushing a firmly pro-European agenda in the talks, which Schulz said would be conducted quickly and constructively.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Thomas Escritt

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