Correspondent in Paris
Emmanuel Macron’s France hopes that Germany can have a government before the end of the year, to try to avoid a serious paralysis of the political construction of Europe and to be able to “relaunch” the EU, defending its “strategic sovereignty in the face of the new world disorder.”
Two weeks ago, Macron received at the Elysee Olaf Scholz and Armin Laschet, the candidates of the SPD and the CDU to the German chancellery. Both agreed with the French president the essential questions in European matter, opportunities and “ceiling” of the “privileged relationship” between Paris and Berlin.
Paris will assume the rotating presidency of the EU on January 1, four / five months before the next French presidential election. The entire ‘macronian’ diplomatic project rests on this matrix: “Affirming the strategic sovereignty of Europe.”
Military sovereignty (affirming a ‘European pillar’ of continental security, complementing NATO) and industrial and technological sovereignty (before the new superpowers, starting with China). Merkel’s Germany only shared those projects putting many nuances. It remains to be seen how post-Merkel Germany will react to the strategic ambitions of France.
Germany, key piece for Macron
If Germany had a stable government next Christmas, Macron’s France could advance and defend its projects, from the rotating presidency of the EU, during the first half of next year. If the formation of the new German government were to be postponed beyond next Christmas, the French presidency of the EU would be partially mortgaged.
Traditionally optimistic and willful, Emmanuel Macron lets his official and unofficial spokesmen say his unblemished confidence in the great German parties and leaders, to whom the French president personally communicated the outlines of his European projects, during his recent meetings at the Elysee.
The balanced result of the German elections relatively complicates the optimism and the projects of macroeconomic France.
74% of the electricity consumed in France is of nuclear origin. And Macron has an “environmentalist” vision of nuclear energy: “France is the European country that emits the least tonnes of CO2, per inhabitant, for a very simple reason: We are lucky to have a large nuclear power park.” German environmentalists do not share this energy vision of ‘European sovereignty’.
Macron has defended since his installation in the Elysee the affirmation of “European sovereignty in matters of security and defense.” After the North American departure from Afghanistan and the submarine crisis, Macron considers it more urgent than ever to reaffirm a European security and defense project, a European pillar of NATO. Merkel’s Germany had quite a few reservations about the Macronian project. How the future German government reacts to such ambitions remains to be seen.
Awaiting events, Macron’s France sets candles to all French, German and European saints, hoping that Germany will have a new strong government ‘soon’. We will see.