The sputtering Franco-German engine

Good analysis by FT correspondents Ben Hall and Bertrand Benoit of recent developments in the Franco-German relations. Sarkozy’s original proposal for a Mediterranean Union consisting of only the countries around the Mediterranean Sea was in their view a French attempt at Alleingang: a breach of the Franco-German axis that the Germans interpreted as a return to pre-WWI spheres of influence politics in Europe. It would certainly have jeopardised the French EU presidency and the debate about the future of EU policies for the coming 20 years that has just started.

After the European Council the authors seem optimistic that Europe Minister Jouyet and other French officials have succeeded in bringing the President back on more traditional track. After the municipal elections of last Sunday I am less sure about that, as I wrote yesterday.

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