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France's Foreign and Security Policy under President Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his goal of revitalising Franco-German relations and founding a "new partnership" between Paris and Berlin. However, in foreign and security policy, and in certain areas of his Europe policy, this aspiration has rarely been fulfilled.

The main reasons are structural changes in international relations, which the French and German sides have reacted to differently. Paris is looking for new ways of preserving its autonomy in defence policy and of filling the strategic vacuum that has been created by the waning US interest in Europe and its periphery. Berlin emphasises the development of NATO and the EU as fundamental organisations for German foreign policy.

The paper explores six case studies in which Germany was an­noyed by its partner's policy under President Macron: France's attitude in Libya; France's reshaped policy on Russia; its confrontational relations with Turkey; its criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO); its questioning of Franco-German proposals for developing the European Union's (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP); and its overt dis­paragement of Germany's policy within the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 16th, 2022 at 11:57:51 AM EST
The crisis of American power: How Europeans see Biden's America | ECFR - Jan. 19, 2021 |

  • Europeans' attitudes towards the United States have undergone a massive change. Majorities in key member states now think the US political system is broken, and that Europe cannot just rely on the US to defend it.
  • They evaluate the EU and/or their own countries' systems much more positively than that of the US - and look to Berlin rather than Washington as the most important partner.

Many Europeans believe in Biden's promise to re-engage internationally but - after witnessing America's response to Covid-19 and domestic polarisation - most doubt Washington's capacity to shape the world.

These divisions run through European countries rather than between them. Rather than splitting Europe into its `new' and `old' parts as in 2003, we can identify four new tribes based on their views of power in the twenty-first century.

Brexit added fuel to the fire of mistrust, but in certain ways the English managed to unite Europeans of the EU-27.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 16th, 2022 at 11:59:34 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 16th, 2022 at 12:00:27 PM EST
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