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  • Author: Jean-Marc Trouille
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: Economy and industry have traditionally been major stakes within the Franco-German relationship. This article examines French and German economic and industrial relations, and their importance for these countries' joint leadership in Europe. It investigates the level of economic interdependence and of macroeconomic convergence between the two largest Eurozone economies, industrial cooperation between French and German companies, discrepancies in their trade relations and investment flows, divergences in their respective economic and industrial policies, and the dichotomy between partnership and rivalry in their long-standing relationship. Finally, this article assesses the risk of increasing fiscal and industrial imbalance between the two economies and draws conclusions on its implications for the Franco-German entente in Europe.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Joachim Schild
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: France and Germany played a highly visible leadership role during the management of the Euro crisis and the efforts to design a reform governance framework for the Euro area. This article provides a conceptualization of this bilateral leadership, which is then applied to trace the process of Franco-German leadership during the ongoing crisis of the Euro area. Franco-German leadership grew ever more important as the crisis deepened. After the French presidential election of 2012, however, the divergences between the two core states of the Euro area deepened and made the exercise of joint leadership more difficult to achieve. I consider this leadership role to be based on a compromise by proxy logic in which France and Germany, starting from divergent positions, strike bilateral compromises acceptable to other member states that feel their own interests are represented by either France or Germany. Their common capacity to find suitable remedies to cope with crisis, however, is not beyond doubt. The Franco-German approach followed an additive logic, combining the temporary and permanent financial support schemes-a French preference-with a concomitant strengthening of fiscal rules advocated by Germany. In the end, the two governments did not develop a common comprehensive strategy based on a shared conceptual framework.
  • Political Geography: France, Germany
  • Author: Yannis Karagiannis
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: According to neoliberal institutionalism, states create international institutions to limit information asymmetries, monitor compliance, and ensure the credibility of commitments to agreed-upon policies-in short, to minimize transaction costs. Although this view can help explain the delegation of powers to supranational bodies such as the European Commission, it cannot account for the signature of the Élysée Treaty between France and Germany in January 1963, which reversed the logic of supranational delegation. Understanding the causes and the consequences of this apparently anomalous event is therefore a major challenge facing scholars of international organizations, European integration, and German foreign policy alike. To start addressing the issue, this article develops an explanation based on incomplete contracts theory. In a nutshell, I argue that the Élysée Treaty aimed at securing the equal treatment of French and German interests in the process of European integration, thereby allowing the deepening of European integration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Corine Defrance
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: Even though the terms “culture“ and “reconciliation“ are absent in the Élysée Treaty, this article looks at forms of cooperation that the Treaty nevertheless generated in the fields of education and youth, as well as foreign affairs and defense. In fact, the Treaty was quite important for the development of cultural and socio-cultural relations between France and Germany and the interactions between states and civil societies. Yet, contrary to the political rhetoric often heard, the Élysée Treaty was not the “year zero“ of Franco-German rapprochement. The Treaty also has to be evaluated in terms of the new impetus it provided for societal initiatives, as well as its limits in the cultural field. The article also assesses recent debates among intellectuals in the two countries: Do the two nations still have something to share at the cultural level or have they distanced themselves from each other? Has the Élysée Treaty really exhausted its integrative capacities regarding socio-cultural matters? In sum, the Treaty has become an important framework for Franco-German socio-cultural cooperation, even if “culture“ was not its main aim, and governments are far from having been the main actors in this field. But, thanks to the joint process of consultation and institutionalization, experiments with bilateral forms of exchanges and cooperation often occurred before being re-applied to a larger framework.
  • Political Geography: France, Germany
  • Author: Francesca Vassallo
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: In 2013 France and Germany will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, signed by the two countries to create a close collaboration in the interest of peace and prosperity. Over the course of five decades, different couples of French Presidents and German Chancellors have dealt with the Paris-Berlin relationship in slightly different ways, some with more success than others. Despite the many changes in the European context and to the balance in the alliance between France and Germany, the initial motivation and meaning of the treaty remains astonishingly valid today, especially in light of its positive contribution to European integration. Even with many possible factors weakening the two countries' core relations, the Franco-German duo retains its historically dominant influence in successful European governance, as the recent Merkozy situation showed.
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Colette Mazzucelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: German Politics and Society
  • Institution: German Politics and Society Journal
  • Abstract: The 2011 Libya campaign highlighted the divergence of interests between France and Germany within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of Middle East and global security. This divergence calls for a reassessment of the meaning of their bilateral cooperation, as defined in the Treaty of Friendship between France and Germany, otherwise known as the Élysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963 by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle. This article focuses on France, which engaged militarily in Libya cooperating with the United Kingdom as its principal European partner. Germany, for reasons explained by its history, political culture, and the nature of its federal system, chose to abstain in the United Nations vote to authorize the campaign. These differences between France and Germany suggest a contrast in their respective security and, particularly defense, policy objectives on the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: France, Libya, Germany