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Foreign policy / PODCAST

The renewed Franco-German partnership and its potential to build a geopolitical Europe

In this episode, Jana Puglierin and Ulrike Esther Franke from the European Council on Foreign Relations argue that it is time for the EU to get serious about its foreign policy - and explain how France and Germany can lead the way.

When it comes to geopolitics, the EU is still something of a navel-gazer. The past decade saw one existential crisis after another, forcing the EU leadership to focus its attention inward. But while the Union was dealing with its own issues, the outside world became an increasingly chaotic and sometimes even hostile place, seeing the return of zero-sum thinking and great power rivalry. The COVID-19 crisis and the economic recession that followed have only emphasized how critical foreign policy challenges are.

In response to the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May of this year announced that they would back a €500 billion EU bond to help with Europe's economic recovery. The historic statement led many to wonder if the previously sputtering Franco-German engine could also force a breakthrough in EU foreign policy, especially since Germany was about to take over the presidency of the Council of the EU. 

Jana's and Ulrike's contributions are based on the ECFR Policy Brief 'The big engine that might: How France and Germany can build a geopolitical Europe'. Their analysis draws from the findings of the third edition of the European Council on Foreign Relations' EU Coalition Explorer – a survey of foreign policy experts and government officials across the EU27 that was taken in March and April of this year.

With Rebecca Castermans



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