Speaking at a joint press conference during their countries' 21st summit in Palma de Majorca on Thursday, Jan. 31, Merkel and Zapatero said discussions on a number of topics had been "extremely positive" and the two leaders announced a raft of new initiatives aimed at easing some of the most pressing shared problems.
Zapatero told reporters that Spain and Germany, who are among the world's leaders in solar and wind power, were working together on projects to promote renewable energy in Africa and that a convergence was needed to make the fight against climate change more effective.
Merkel added that the two countries were "committed and determined" to fight climate change, and noted that they occupy "leading global positions in renewable energies."
Committed to fighting terrorism
The Spanish leader also said that his country and Germany were cooperating closely in the fight against international terrorism, particularly that perpetrated by radical Islamic groups, and that they had also agreed to increase cooperation to promote the integration of immigrants.
Merkel added that Germany wanted the European Union to play a more active role in the Mediterranean region.
"Germany does not have any borders with the region, but shares responsibility for it," the chancellor said, calling for an intensification of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership that was launched in Barcelona in 1995.
The two leaders also addressed the topic of the current global finance problem and both pledged to back greater transparency and regulations to combat financial crises.
"We have exchanged opinions on the problem of the financial markets and the impact on the European economy and ... we share the opinion that the European economy is solid," Zapatero said.
Europe responsible for promoting financial transparency
The two leaders share "the conviction that the international community, and of course the European Union in very decisive way, must put in place new measures with more information, more transparency and more powerful regulations to prevent and anticipate the problems in the financial systems," he added.
Both leaders also announced that they wanted to ratify the EU's Lisbon Treaty to strengthen Europe politically while Merkel said that Turkey "should be linked closely" to the EU.
Zapatero also took the opportunity to reiterate Spain's position on the possible unilateral independence of Kosovo by saying that Spain had reservations about the plan, and feared it might encourage Basque and other separatist organizations in Spain.