Tribune. With France presiding over the European Union (EU) and Germany managing the work of the G7, the Franco-German couple will be in a position to make this year 2022 a high point in European integration. To achieve this, the two friendly countries can count on a growing number of convergences, but two fundamental obstacles must be overcome.
Unlike in 2017, the elections in Germany produced a new, resolutely pro-European government without a hitch, led by a social-democrat chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who echoed President Macron’s formula on “European sovereignty”. . The commitment to “a strong and sovereign Europe” even constituted one of the three major axes of Olaf Scholz’s campaign. This consecration of a happy – and relevant! – by the German side should put an end to the fruitless debates on the “strategic autonomy” of Europe, with anti-American overtones and focused on the military aspect. The notion of European sovereignty encompasses the ability to act on several levels: military and diplomatic, of course, but also industrial and technological, the control of migratory flows and pandemics also falling within its domain.
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Precisely, the convergence of views between our two nations is not limited to the philosophical dimension of this question. In recent years, France and Germany have managed to find a common position on issues that have been the subject of controversy for a long time. This applies, above all, to the European recovery plan “Next Generation EU” and its financing through the issuance of common bonds, drawn up hand in hand by the finance ministers Bruno Le Maire and Olaf Scholz. For the first time, a German government has consented to such a common fund. Even if this remains far from the “economic government” advocated by France, it constitutes a remarkable breakthrough in terms of tax integration.
Enthusiasm for industrial policy
To sustain this progress, European budgetary rules must be reformed by making them more flexible. To improve the geopolitical posture of the EU, we absolutely must successfully implement its “Global Gateway” strategy. [le plan européen d’aide au développement présenté début décembre 2021] in close collaboration with our G7 partners. For too long, we have been absent when it comes to financing and building infrastructure around the world.
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