Saturday, October 7, 2017

France and Germany: The Arbiters of European Peace

When the strategies of Paris and Berlin change, so too will the institutions that pacified the Continent.

Sept. 21, 2017 Geopolitical Futures

The European Union, for all its ambition and inclusivity, is a function of relations between its most important members: France and Germany. It was an experiment meant to test the limits of their animosity. If France and Germany were bound together in such a way that prosperity for one meant prosperity for the other, then perhaps they would not rip the Continent apart again as they had in World War I and World War II. It was a noble experiment, and for a long time it worked. So effective were the European Union and its precursor institutions that the era in which they were formed is often called the Long Peace – a term that ignores the dissolution of Yugoslavia but largely captures the essence of the period.

But can the EU continue to keep the peace? If the bloc reflects the ways in which France and Germany tried to pursue certain national interests, what happens when French and German strategies change? Already there are signs that EU institutions – and therefore the strategic pursuits that led to their formation – are either failing or becoming ineffective, and so there are signs that France and Germany will undertake new strategies.

The following report explains the strategies available to them – and how these strategies work with and against each other – amid the transformations underway on the Continent. It shows how decades of peace belie the fact that French and German interests, despite small areas of mutuality made manifest by the EU, are fundamentally different. And it is the differences between them, not the results of the recent elections in France or the upcoming elections in Germany, that will shape the fates of these nations, and therefore the fate of Europe.   Read More.......The post France and Germany: The Arbiters of European Peace appeared first on Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures.

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