World News: European Axis Shifts as France and Germany Emerge as EU Leaders

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The economic recovery plan intended to revitalize ​​the European Union destabilized by the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the strong influence of the Franco-German merger as the two leading economies in the Euro Zone, prepare to lead the future.

The adoption of the recovery plan amounting to 750 billion euros in the form of European treasury bonds has above all confirmed, in addition to the capacity of the members of the European Union to join forces to ensure its sustainability, of the Franco-German axis.

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Often the object of comments highlighting the supremacy of Germany in the European area, the particular cooperation displayed by the two States allowed the proposed plan not only to see the light of day but also to be accepted by all the States. Members. There are several reasons for the strength of this axis, starting with the history of the two countries in the process of European construction.

France and Germany, then Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, are both part of the founding countries of what was the European Economic Community (EEC), like four other countries, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Power and Tensions

But by virtue of their geographical dimension, their industrial power restored thanks to the Marshall Plan (1947) and their demographic dynamism, these two countries will very quickly become the engines of the new European unit to the point, if not to elude the other countries. Members, at least to gain such influence that will make them the first local economies.

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Reinforced by the appearance and establishment of the Euro in 2001, France and Germany ended up dominating the European Union, not without generating several sources of tension, especially after the arrival of new countries in 2004 within the Union.

Because this economic influence will also translate, in a logic of increasingly significant globalization, by a diplomatic influence which will often push to summarize the European Union as the preserve of the two countries.

Many people remember the Greek episode of 2011, when Greece, faced with an abysmal sovereign debt, was summoned by the Franco-German couple led by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, to administer to the country of Pericles an extremely severe austerity plan in the name of the European treaties governing the debt of states.

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The Covid-19 crisis, then unimaginable, however made the two supporters of financial rigor retreat, more frank on the German side than on the French side, to the point of accepting today to let the public deficits widen and by the principles of European treasury bills, to pool the debt and the repayment of the latter.

Influence and Guarantee

Further proof that the Franco-German couple dictate a will imbued with obligation which is not necessarily shared, the position of the so-called frugal countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria, which are well obliged ultimately to agree with the solution proposed by France and Germany.

Why? Because diplomatically isolated in a European group anxious to privilege the general interest over the particular interest and made evidently of limited influence. Hegemony, authoritarianism, disproportionate influence, privileged cooperation, so many feelings that can emerge today in the place of the Franco-German couple.

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It is a safe bet that the comments on this tacit alliance between Paris and Berlin will continue to agitate the corridors of Parliament or the European Commission not to mention the harsh criticisms of member countries with less influence and economic weight crossed by the impression to ultimately only be the foils of circumstances.

In a globalized economy, where international competition has become fierce, even violent, some will see in the Franco-German alliance as a sort of assurance or guarantee of European stability when others see it as an excess. A dependable power union capable of stifling the political and economic expression of the weaker member states while maintaining the strength of the whole.



Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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