Elisabeth Borne and Olaf Scholz meet in Berlin on Friday to tune the French and German fiddles on behalf of Europe and to forget the differences over defense and energy fueled by the war in Ukraine.
The French prime minister and the German chancellor want to give a “new impetus” to the tandem that is the engine of European construction, such as Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz in Paris on October 26.
Elisabeth Borne will also meet Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor for Economy and Climate. On Tuesday, he was received in Paris by the French president in an unprecedented manner and also spoke with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
“We are stronger together”
With Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis, “we need Europe more than ever,” the Prime Minister’s entourage emphasizes.
“We can clearly see how important Europe is in solving certain crises. According to the same source, making Europe work requires very good Franco-German relations.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who received German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, said on Thursday that “together we are stronger”, especially “dealing with the climate transition and ensuring that between China and the United States there is a third power called Europe”.
“I share with Emmanuel Macron the goal of a geopolitical Europe with greater mobility,” Olaf Scholz said outside the Bundestag on Wednesday.
Solidarity in the supply of gas and electricity
To make people forget their energy disputes, Paris and Berlin could show increased solidarity in terms of mutual gas and electricity supplies.
France has already been supplying gas to Germany since mid-October, which in turn could bring the increase in electricity exchange capacity to November (instead of January), which would allow France to buy more gas.
France is a net importer of electricity for the first time in 42 years due to the shutdown of many nuclear reactors. The turning point is also historic for Germany, as the country used to import gas from Russia.
However, the two countries are divided on the idea of capping gas prices. Germany’s 200 billion euro bailout for individuals and businesses in the face of high prices is prompting its neighbors to fear competition will be distorted.
Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart Robert Habeck on Tuesday wished to maintain “fair competition” between the two countries.
They have also shown their willingness to “accelerate” European industrial projects in the face of a huge US investment plan (Inflation Reduction ActIRA), can also distort competition, and Elisabeth Borne and Olaf Scholz will discuss a common European response.
Borne, the “most German” minister in the government
The tension, which came to light in the afternoon with the postponement of the Franco-German Council of Ministers, left some projects in limbo, such as the political agreement reached between manufacturers Dassault and Airbus on the European fighter aircraft project (SCAF). even if the contracts are not expected to be signed on Friday.
In space, as each country tries to develop its own mini-rockets, France, Germany and Italy agreed on Tuesday to allow the launch of these small rockets on behalf of the Space Agency.
But the anti-missile shield project put forward by Berlin, which competes with Paris and Rome, will be discussed “in a different discussion format”.
No date for the next Franco-German Council of Ministers should be formalized until the big meeting on January 22nd, 60s Day.e Anniversary of the Franco-German Treaty.
Alexandre Robinet-Borgomano believes that communication with Elisabeth Borne could be better because she is the “most German” minister of the French government due to its “seriousness”, “refusal to leverage” and “restraint”. , from the Institut Montaigne.
Hans Stark, advisor of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), believes that the purpose of this visit is, above all, to “establish a working style” and not to appear divided in front of Russia.