“When the Franco–German “Couple” Starts Making Sense Again”, Claire Darmé (IAI, Italy)

The recent Franco-German proposal for a 500 billion euro EU Recovery Fund for the COVID-19 emergency has fed unceasing and divisive debates about the bilateral relationship’s role in the construction of the European project. On both sides, critical voices have questioned the importance given to this duo in European policymaking.Seen from France and Germany, there would be no European integration as we know it without the strong impulses and direction given by Paris and Berlin over the years – starting with the Monnet Declaration itself, back in 1950. The European integration project is often viewed from these capitals as a means to pave the way towards ever-closer cooperation between the two countries and for the benefit of wider Europe, with bilateral agreements and proposals often considered natural, welcome developments.

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