Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

Why Europe’s Franco-German engine is stalling

By Jean Pisani-Ferry

31 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

In Project Syndicate, Jean Pisani-Ferry argues that the leaders of Germany and France must overcome their differences in order to address Europe's multiple economic and geopolitical challenges.

PARIS – In January 1963, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed the bilateral Élysée Treaty, whereby the two former enemies officially ended two centuries of antipathy and bloodshed and committed to ushering in a new era of cooperation.

Signed five years after the Treaty of Rome entered into force, the Élysée Treaty was highly symbolic, and it laid the groundwork for Germany and France to become the European Union’s de facto leaders. EU partners know from experience that nothing can move forward if France and Germany are not on the same page, and that a Franco-German consensus generally paves the way to a wider agreement.

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