Merkel says Europe must take fate into own hands

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a G7 family

German poll: Lead for Merkel's conservative bloc widens

"We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands", Merkel said on Sunday as she transitions into campaign mode ahead of September elections.

That was the message she delivered at a campaign event in Bavaria this weekend, both reflecting on and predicting the future of European global leadership based on the events of the past week. "I've experienced that in the last few days".

Merkel also urged EU members to maintain "good neighborly relations wherever possible" with Russian Federation and other countries, then said, "But we have to know that we have to fight for our future and our fate ourselves as Europeans".

On Thursday, Merkel attended the one-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, spending Friday and Saturday in Italy's Sicilian town of Taormina where the two-day G7 summit took place.

She told the crowd in the southern German city that special emphasis needed to be placed on warm relations between Germany and the newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

G7 leaders went on to blame the USA for the failure to reach an agreement on climate change, in an unusually frank statement which read: "The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics".

Mr Trump offered a more positive assessment on Twitter on Sunday, writing: "Just returned from Europe".

Despite the Trump administration's talk of an "America first" policy and ongoing criticism of Germany for its massive trade surplus, the G7 summit in Sicily did vow to fight protectionism, reiterating "a commitment to keep our markets open". "Hard work but big results!"

With a nod to Britain facing Brexit and America under President Donald Trump, Merkel called on Europe to stick together in the face of new challenges.

Observers noted that he neglected to publicly endorse the pact's Article Five, which guarantees that member countries will aid the others they are attacked.

A poll of German voters shows Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc's lead widening as the main challenger Social Democrats continue to lose support.

German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel toasts during the Trudering festival in Munich, Germany on May 28, 2017.

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