“We don’t agree on anything”: Franco-German relations still struggle

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“We don’t agree on anything.”Franco-German relations are still struggling

France and Germany are increasingly open about their differences, on everything from energy to budget rules to defense.

German President Olaf Schaals and French President Emmanuel Macron last June.

AFP

At a time when international challenges are piling up and risk fracturing Europe, France and Germany are increasingly showing their differences, from energy to budget rules and defense. Beyond the distant relationship between German Chancellor Olaf Scholes and French President Emmanuel Macron, key issues have become “points of ideological conflict” between the two countries, said Eric-André Martin, secretary general of Serfa, the Franco-German relations research group at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI).

In Berlin, despite our differences, we realize that without the Franco-German “engine” there will be no progress in Europe, and we promise to always agree on the essentials. Paris also exemplifies a general willingness to overcome difficulties. French diplomatic chiefs Catherine Colonna and German Annalena Baerbach insist they remain in constant contact.

“tough talk”

“It’s well known that Germany and France are the best friends in the world, but sometimes we fight like an old couple,” the German minister admitted to French daily Ouest-France on Friday, referring to a particularly difficult reform. European electricity market.

Against the backdrop of a war on nuclear power, France has pushed for electricity supplies when Germany shut down its last power plant in April. “We don’t agree on anything,” Robert Habeck, the vice chancellor in charge of economics, says bluntly.

Same story in Paris, talking about “difficult discussions” on energy and reform of budget rules, and wanting to see “cooperative” Germans. Structurally dynamic controversies. For Frank Possner, director of the Franco-German Institute in Ludwigsburg, we see “everywhere a gap in perceptions, analyzes and priorities”.

(AFP)

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