During the buildup to the bloc-wide vote last year, Der Tagesspiegel reported that Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party was using verbal attacks against Angela Merkel as part of its campaign. The report added that Mr Macron’s colleagues were “mobilising against the Chancellor”. La Republique En Marche (LREM)’s top candidate for the EU elections, Nathalie Loiseau, criticised Mrs Merkel and her government for its approach to talks between Brussels and Washington, where Mrs Merkel insisted on getting pending US special tariffs on car imports off the table.
The EU decided to resume talks despite opposition from France, where criticism of free trade deals had been more prevalent.
Former Europe Minister Loiseau also surprised everyone with her choice of words before the crucial EU decision was adopted.
According to AFP, she told representatives of small and medium-sized companies that “there are some European leaders who will soon leave political life. This leads to caution, not boldness”.
This appeared to be a swipe at the German Chancellor, who announced 12 months earlier she would not continue in her role beyond 2021.
At the time, Paris and Berlin had disagreements when it came to party politics in European elections.
It was reported at the time that LREM representatives, together with parliamentarians from other countries, were planning to form their own group or join the European Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) group.
Germany’s ruling parties, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Christian Socialists (CSU), are the driving forces behind the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), the biggest group in the Parliament.
The subtle swipes proved fruitless for both Merkel and Macron’s parties in the vote however.
READ MORE: How Emmanuel Macron’s power has been ‘besieged’ amid party divide
Despite winning in Germany, it was the CDU’s worst result ever.
Today, Mr Macron visits the UK while Brexit trade talks with the EU rumble on.
Mr Macron’s trip will involve a visit to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, marking the first major royal engagement since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed.
Charles and Camilla will meet the French President at their London home.
It comes after both had to self-isolate in March after Charles, 71, contracted coronavirus.
Mr Macron will be granted an exemption on the 14-day quarantine imposed on most people entering the UK, as a “representative of a foreign country on business”.
However, social distancing measures will be observed throughout the visit.
It will be Mr Macron’s first trip abroad since the lockdown came into place.