Merkel & Macron Apply Sticking Plaster on Fracturing Europe
By Finian Cunningham
January 29, 2019 "Information Clearing House"- When German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron signed a new Franco-German Treaty last week in the historic city of Aachen it had pomp and gravitas as background setting.
But in the foreground, figuratively speaking, the two leaders are beset by jarring political problems in both their respective countries, as well as across the entire European Union and on the international level.
If the location of the 9th century Charlesmagne empire centered on German border city of Aachen was meant to inspire unity, it could equally also inspire doom. All empires are destined to fall. Why should the supranational EU not also succumb to demise?
The Franco-German accord signed by Macron and Merkel appeared to be more a PR gesture than a substantive development.
For a start, there already exists an accord between the two countries. The Elysée Treaty signed in 1963 was signed by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer and is viewed as an historic postwar reconciliation between the two major European powers which helped paved the way for the modern European Union.
Some observers questioned the need for Macron and Merkel to sign a new treaty. “It was like an old couple renewing their marriage vows,” commented historian Marion Gaillard to France 24.
The treaty last week aims to bring closer cooperation between Germany and France in the fields of foreign policy, defense, security, economic policy, and to reinforce the wider EU project. Importantly, another aim is to strengthen “the ability of Europe to act independently”.
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