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Thread: France & Germany to sign Aachen Treaty - core within a core?

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    Default France & Germany to sign Aachen Treaty - core within a core?

    France & Germany are deepening ties, signing a new treaty at Aachen later this month.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...fraying-europe

    Politico summarises the main points here (my emphases):

    FRANCO-GERMAN TREATY PREVIEW

    MUST BE LOVE: Germany and France will promise each other unheard of things in the history of their post-WWII relationship. The Treaty of Aachen, which Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will sign January 22, will make for the closest partnership between any two EU countries. Coming a few months before Britain (maybe) takes back control by leaving the EU, it’ll be a rather remarkable example of two countries doing the exact opposite: France and Germany will vow to do more together. I’ve looked at a draft of the treaty for you.

    Stronghold in Council: Both countries will consult with each other “at all levels” ahead of important EU meetings and try to develop both “joint positions” and “joint statements by ministers.” The latter is currently common when General Affairs Councils discuss rule-of-law issues, but now the two countries want to do the same when it comes to security and defense, the draft says. They aim to have common positions “in all important decisions.”

    Security matters:
    The couple vows to “jointly invest” in close European military “capability gaps,” a strong cooperation of their arms makers, and find “a joint approach for arms exports.” Get ready for quite the discussions in a new Franco-German Defense and Security Council, which the countries want to establish. It will meet “regularly at the highest level.” Take that as a sign Berlin and Paris are trying to get serious about ensuring Europe can one day defend itself without American help.


    Global stage:
    France and Germany also want to be seen as close at the U.N.-level, aligning their presidencies of the Security Council (of which Germany became a non-permanent member for two years January 1), and wanting a reform of the institution. “The admission of Germany as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy,” according to the document.


    How inclusive can true love be?
    The above U.N. cooperation is perhaps a trifle less ambitious than if the two agreed for France to swap its own permanent seat for a European one. European governments won’t be best pleased: While Berlin and Paris stress as often as possible in the draft treaty that their love for each other is in the service of the EU as a whole, said treaty may well be received as the founding document of a very exclusive, core European club. (Berlin has traditionally been keener to avoid that impression than Paris).


    Another example:
    The two countries will pledge to “deepen the integration of their economies,” the draft says — with the integration aiming to create “a Franco-German economic area with joint rules.” That might well translate into an internal market within the internal market.


    Very practically,
    the two countries want more of their citizens to learn the other’s language better, with full bilingualism in the border regions a goal. The inspiration might have come from Saarland (where Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and the new CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer come from): In certain circumstances, French can now be used in courts there.


    Key questions:
    Is this a case of two countries falling in love, or simply of Merkel and Macron getting along very well indeed? And what happens after either, or both, are no longer in charge?

    Mostly EUrophile myself but a bit unnerved by some of this. The perception of the EU as a Franco-German dominated project is problematic, feeding into anti-EU populism and worrying members of the so-called 'new-Hanseatic league' including ourselves.

    Economically, France and Germany have lately been talking about "European champions", blatantly meaning French and German companies; with louder calls for protectionism against "unfair competition" from China. This is not what Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordics want to hear.

    I can see rationale behind increasing military strength and co-operation (i.e. the weakening interest of the US on Europe) but it's still unnerving given Europe's bloody history and their central role in it.

    Maybe this is just, finally, acceptance by France that the EU is 'multi-speed' project and there will be a core within a core.
    I stand with two thousand years of darkness and bafflement and hunger behind me... and I couldn't give a ha'penny jizz for your internet-assembled philosophy. Evil Vicar

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpast's Avatar
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    The perception of the EU as a Franco-German dominated project is problematic

    It has always been thus

    - I'm amazed you are only noticing this now.

    The Strategic implications of this are profound.

    Thanks for the Info BTW
    If you can convince a People to engage in the mass elimination of their own offspring - you can probably get them to do anything...http://irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...fraying-europe
    Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is meeting Wednesday with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s governing party, in the latest stop of his recruiting drive.
    Now there's a true champion of democracy. I wonder if he'll be coming here?
    Stronghold in Council: Both countries will consult with each other “at all levels” ahead of important EU meetings and try to develop both “joint positions” and “joint statements by ministers.” The latter is currently common when General Affairs Councils discuss rule-of-law issues, but now the two countries want to do the same when it comes to security and defense, the draft says. They aim to have common positions “in all important decisions.”
    This seems like an official recognition of existing policy. We have all seen over the last few years how this works.
    First the Germans come up with a new plan for Europe. The leaders of France and Germany then have a bilateral meeting to decide on the future EU policy. Once decided, one of them goes to Italy to get their support, and some modification might be made.
    After that, its a done deal, and all the others are told whats going to happen.
    The likes of Varadkar and the other minnows announce that they intend to vote yes to the "proposal" at the next Council of Ministers meeting. Then when it passes, they look like they are on the winning side, and look as if they had some influence.

    Hungary and Poland are prone to speaking their mind, and may even vote no. Following this they would be branded as rogues and "populists" and would be subject to some official EU reprimand or sanction.

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    Also, I see from this that France will push for Germany to get a permanent seat on the UN security council.
    In other words, the EU will push for it, and therefore we will. Nice to know we have a position on this.
    No doubt Leo will be announcing it soon.

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpast View Post
    The perception of the EU as a Franco-German dominated project is problematic

    It has always been thus

    - I'm amazed you are only noticing this now.
    It has, but single market/competition rules trumped French protectionist instincts and enlargement reduced the duo's heft by population and economic weight. I still think those two things will ultimately hold, but with Brexit and this treaty coinciding it looks like a step backwards.
    I stand with two thousand years of darkness and bafflement and hunger behind me... and I couldn't give a ha'penny jizz for your internet-assembled philosophy. Evil Vicar

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farnaby View Post
    France & Germany are deepening ties, signing a new treaty at Aachen later this month.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...fraying-europe

    Politico summarises the main points here (my emphases):




    Mostly EUrophile myself but a bit unnerved by some of this. The perception of the EU as a Franco-German dominated project is problematic, feeding into anti-EU populism and worrying members of the so-called 'new-Hanseatic league' including ourselves.

    Economically, France and Germany have lately been talking about "European champions", blatantly meaning French and German companies; with louder calls for protectionism against "unfair competition" from China. This is not what Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordics want to hear.

    I can see rationale behind increasing military strength and co-operation (i.e. the weakening interest of the US on Europe) but it's still unnerving given Europe's bloody history and their central role in it.

    Maybe this is just, finally, acceptance by France that the EU is 'multi-speed' project and there will be a core within a core.
    Let them at it. Two sovereign countries making such decisions is a matter for themselves. We need to be building alliances too with like minded countries.

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    Politics.ie Member Disillusioned democrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpast View Post
    The perception of the EU as a Franco-German dominated project is problematic

    It has always been thus

    - I'm amazed you are only noticing this now.

    The Strategic implications of this are profound.

    Thanks for the Info BTW
    Most people believe the value of the EU was to stop those two countries going to war every 20 years.

    It looks like politicians like Macron are happy to implement Hitler's vision for a new German empire.

    I'm beginning to worry now about an EU without the UK.
    The more things change....

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    Politics.ie Member Disillusioned democrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    Let them at it. Two sovereign countries making such decisions is a matter for themselves. We need to be building alliances too with like minded countries.
    Two sovereign countries making decisions for the rest of the EU more like. I'd fear that this will quickly become a farce with the two behemoth countries starting to throw their weight around.
    The more things change....

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    Politics.ie Member sic transit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recedite View Post
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...fraying-europeNow there's a true champion of democracy. I wonder if he'll be coming here?

    This seems like an official recognition of existing policy. We have all seen over the last few years how this works.
    First the Germans come up with a new plan for Europe. The leaders of France and Germany then have a bilateral meeting to decide on the future EU policy. Once decided, one of them goes to Italy to get their support, and some modification might be made.
    After that, its a done deal, and all the others are told whats going to happen.
    The likes of Varadkar and the other minnows announce that they intend to vote yes to the "proposal" at the next Council of Ministers meeting. Then when it passes, they look like they are on the winning side, and look as if they had some influence.

    Hungary and Poland are prone to speaking their mind, and may even vote no. Following this they would be branded as rogues and "populists" and would be subject to some official EU reprimand or sanction.
    You wouldn't worry what Italy have to say, their governments are as fleeing as the wind. The Polish government have their own issues and Orban looks like his star may well have peaked.
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by recedite View Post
    Hungary and Poland are prone to speaking their mind, and may even vote no. Following this they would be branded as rogues and "populists" and would be subject to some official EU reprimand or sanction.
    A bit of gratitude (and basic good manners) wouldn't go amiss.

    Breakdown of Poland’s finances with the EU in 2017:

    Total EU spending in Poland: € 11.921 billion
    Total Polish contribution to the EU budget: € 3.048 billion

    Breakdown of Hungary’s finances with the EU in 2017:

    Total EU spending in Hungary: € 4.049 billion
    Total Hungarian contribution to the EU budget: € 0.821 billion

    Personally I'd love to see both countries kicked on their arses out of the EU. They deserve nothing better than to be dominated by Russian barbarians once again - they certainly do not share our civilised western European values.
    Neither country is yet ready to be an EU member.

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