Germany and France are committed to expanding majority voting in the EU. In a joint contribution to the Franco-German Council of Ministers on Sunday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wrote that they are striving for “rapid and concrete progress in the EU enlargement process”.
At the same time, however, it must be ensured that an enlarged EU continues to be able to act, they stressed. This requires more efficient institutions and faster decision-making processes, “especially due to the expansion of qualified majority decisions in the Council”.
In the guest article for the “” and “Le Journal de Dimanche”, both alluding to US subsidies for climate-friendly technologies, both emphasize that Germany and France “strongly support an ambitious strategy to promote the competitiveness of the industry European Union and to establish a European environment”. More recently, there have been differences between Berlin and Paris over how to respond to new US regulations, which are seen as disadvantageous for EU companies. This should also be an issue during Sunday appointments.
The cabinets of both countries and the leaders of the two national parliaments will meet in Paris on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.
The friendship treaty forms the basis of the very close post-war relations between the two countries. “France sought reconciliation with the Germans. A historic gesture. And now – 60 years later – we can say: the original peace project is complete. Germany and France are close friends and partners,” Scholz said in her video podcast.
He and Macron describe the “first big challenge” as Europe becoming more sovereign and building geopolitical capabilities to help shape the international order. “For a strong Europe of tomorrow, we must now invest more in our armed forces and in the foundations of our arms industry in Europe”, he says. The military needs better equipment and needs to be more efficient and powerful. At the same time, it is underlined: “Geopolitical strength does not depend only on military means, but also on resilience and our ability to act in a future-oriented manner in strategic areas”. Both emphasize that they will continue to support Ukraine in the fight against the Russian attack.
Both countries are still challenged together, Scholz said. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperialism will not win. “We will not allow Europe to revert to a time when violence replaces politics. We will continue to support Ukraine. Together. To defend our European peace project.” He was also very grateful to French President Macron for getting his act together.
In the meantime, the partnership between Germany and France has become a natural thing, Scholz said. “It’s about vacations, student exchanges, guest semesters, city partnerships and strong business relationships between the two neighboring countries.”
Scholz said he looked forward to traveling to Paris with his cabinet on Sunday. The meeting was originally planned for October but was cancelled.
Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann also stressed to Portal that they wanted to reduce vetoes in the EU, develop reform ideas and push ahead with enlargement. Lührmann acknowledged a rocky patch between Berlin and Paris: “Over the last few months, things have occasionally become complicated, but one thing is certain: Franco-German friendship is part of our political identity.”