July 15, 2017 / 1:05 PM / a year ago

Merkel's rival to meet Macron in Paris on Thursday

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz will meet French President Emmanuel Macron for talks in Paris on Thursday, a party spokesman said on Saturday.

Germany’s Social Democratic Party SPD candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz talks with residents as he visits the Sternschanze district after last week's demonstrations at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Schulz hopes to unseat Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Sept. 24 election, but the center-left party has lost momentum in the polls after making gains initially following his nomination in January.

Schulz will give a speech about the future of Europe at the Institut d’etudes politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris before being welcomed by Macron in the Elysee palace, the SPD party spokesman said.

Macron’s presidential office confirmed the meeting with Schulz that is scheduled for 1900 CET (1700 GMT).

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is expected to outline his plans for a stronger European Union during a news conference on Sunday.

Merkel told voters in a campaign speech on Saturday that Britain’s decision to leave the EU and France’s election of pro-European reformer Macron had changed her view on the bloc, adding it was worth fighting for a stronger Europe.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Mathieu Rosemain; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Stephen Powell

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