Federal elections in Germany: what future for the Paris-Berlin relationship?

It was the stability of the Franco-German couple. After sixteen years at the head of Germany, Angela Merkel will have known four French presidents. It is a new balance that will have to be found for this partnership. However, a change of personalities should not shake the basis of the links between Paris and Berlin.

Pierre Vimont is a researcher at Carnegie Europe and former French diplomat:“There will inevitably be a change if only of personalities and the personalities play a role in the Franco-German relationship. But beyond that, the Franco-German relationship will remain important in my opinion. It remains an element. and an essential foundation within the framework of the European project “.

The implementation of this new couple will depend a lot on electoral deadlines. Negotiations in order to constitute a new government coalition in Germany could take several weeks or even months. This period could serve the French president, but only in the short term.

“If we look at Emmanuel Macron’s point of view, of course, the objective is re-election in May, analysis Eric Maurice, head of the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation. And so, that would put Emmanuel Macron in the position of the former in relation to the chancellor who would probably only arrive during the winter. So for France there would be, perhaps, not a superiority but in any case a political precedence on European questions. Especially since France will have the presidency of the Council of the EU from January to June “.

However, the success of the Franco-German couple is not only a question of political colors. It depends above all on a willingness to work together.

“When we look at the history of the Franco-German couple, political alignment is not necessary. There has always been a culture of dialogue and therefore it is this personal question that makes it possible to overcome political differences. , institutional, cultural between the two countries “, emphasizes Eric Maurice.

Faced with challenges like rise of China, the reconstruction of the transatlantic relationship or on theattitude to follow towards Russia, Paris and Berlin must quickly come to an agreement.

“This Franco-German couple must continue to work well together. And my feeling, listening to the various candidates for the chancellery in Berlin, is that they all emphasize the importance of the Franco-German couple”, specifies Pierre Vimont.

This next Franco-German couple will especially have to convince, together, its 25 partners of the EU in order to be able to advance the European project.


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