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Why are Franco-German relations so sensitive? The event ends with two leaders…

December 60 Dec, the agreement that restored relations between France and Germany after the Second World War. experts in political science emphasize that, as they get older, the relationship between the two countries is almost Decisively at a critical point in the current period. The biggest job here falls on the two leaders.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, which reconciled the two old enemies, laid the foundations of European integration and is celebrated annually on January 22 as Franco-German Day. they celebrated the year. while they get together in Paris for the anniversary, he will also try to breathe new life into their Decaying relationship.

Hundreds of lawmakers from both sides of the Rhine River will listen to speeches by Macron and Scholz at the Sorbonne before a joint session of the French and German cabinets at the Elysee Palace.

Although the two leaders are going through a difficult period of relations, they will say nice words and there will naturally be a celebratory atmosphere around. However, it is also obvious that the said joint cabinet session was postponed from October to today because Macron complained about Berlin’s policies.

Charles Grant, Director of the Center for European Reform and Member of the EDAM Advisory Board, underlines that relations are not as bad as the days when the newly elected Gerhard Schröder made his first visit to London to meet with Tony Blair in December, and not to Paris to meet with Jacques Chirac in 1998. According to Grant, part of the current problem is undoubtedly personal:

“As far as I can see, Scholz and Macron have very little in common. Scholz is a very sullen, very firm, unpretentious person who does not like to talk a lot. Macron, on the other hand, is full of energy, ‘chatty’, really full of ideas and is very interested both in the theatricality of European summits and in politics in general. It’s also clear that they never got along.”

As will be remembered, in accordance with the traditions, the new chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, made his first foreign visit to France and called for bilateral cooperation. But even in those days, there was talk of a possible Conflict between the two, especially on the point of “EU leadership”. Dec. On December 10, 2021 Expressing his views in the special news published, Retired Paris Ambassador Uluç Özülker was saying the following:

“The whole problem of France was the thought, ‘If Germany runs away, I won’t catch it, and that’s why it will hurt me’… In order not to see this damage, it is necessary to control Germany and stay close to it at the same time. But Germany doesn’t really care what France is doing.”

Özülker, a retired Diplomat who served as the Embassy in Paris between 2002 and 2005, did not see a Russian-Ukrainian War on the horizon at the time he expressed this opinion. Dec. Range

There are many disagreements between Paris and Berlin at the moment, especially on security and energy Decisions. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year forced both countries to rethink, who for a very long time had the idea that they could find a way to work with Vladimir Putin.

On paper, Paris and Berlin have lagged behind Ukraine since the beginning of the war. On the other hand, Scholz paints a rather reluctant image, despite the recent pressure to supply the Leopard 2 heavy battle tanks, which Ukraine badly needs. Germany also prevents other allies, such as Poland, from sending their own Leopard 2 stocks.

The chancellor is reluctant to enter this situation alone, which she sees as an escalation of the conflict. Because while the United Kingdom sent a limited number of Challenger 2 tanks, the United States refused to send Abram tanks to Ukraine. Macron, on the other hand, refrains from criticizing Germany at this point. Because France, which sent armored wheeled AMX-10 RC to Ukraine, also did not send Leclerc tanks equivalent to Leopard 2.

The two countries are very far apart on other defense issues. The two countries are rivals at the point of developing a “shield that will protect Europe from missiles”. On the other hand, Macron’s references to a sovereign and more independent Europe also remain unanswered on the Scholz front. There is a fundamental problem underlying this “lack of chemistry,” says Martin Quincez, Paris Director of the US-based German Marshall Fund:

“Scholz’s ruling three-party coalition is clearly indifferent to France and its interests. There is a feeling in Paris that the Franco-German relationship is becoming more and more secondary in the German political system.”

The two countries are also divided on energy policy: France has kept its faith in nuclear energy, while Germany has almost phased it out. However, despite this, it is thought that the message to be given this year will be aimed at young people and that emphasis will be placed on strengthening the ties between the citizens of the two countries. Dec. Range

The two also emphasized a strong and more independent EU in their joint messages. It is expected that the image that Scholz and Macron will draw in the near future will be quite decisive in terms of regional and world politics.

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