Franco-German Leadership in the EU: Lessons from the Euro Crisis
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University of Bonn
Publication date: 2015-12-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(4):255-268
Since the outbreak of the Euro crisis in 2010 the European Union seems to tumble from one crisis to the next: From Arab spring to the Ukraine conflict, from Syrian civil war to the refugee crisis. So far the EU members did not find a way out of these crises. Although in times when all EU partners seem to be paralyzed by an aversion of strengthening the EU institutions they might be forced working closer together anyway. Against the background of a general loss of orientation inside the EU this article takes a closer look at the handling of the Euro crisis. It discusses whether revived Franco-German leadership inside Europe might be an option to give orientation to all EU members. Starting with a brief review of the strengths of this bilateral couple during the initial phase of European integration it is the aim to detect its unique capability to lead the EU out of European crises. Since Germans and French after serious disputes and despite different economic interests managed to work together for European solutions, both might be a role model for all EU members. The way the governments in Berlin and Paris overcame their differences during the Euro crisis delivers insights for all EU partners to cope with the structural economic imbalances.
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