French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz call on Friday to strengthen the “sovereignty” of the European Union, in a joint forum published two days before the Franco-German Council of Ministers.
It is an essential challenge for the EU “to guarantee that Europe becomes even more sovereign and has the geopolitical capacities to shape the international order”, write in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the French and German leaders, before the 60th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty.
According to them, Europe must invest more in its armed forces and its armaments industry. “Improved European capabilities and a stronger European pillar within NATO also make us a stronger partner vis-à-vis the other side of the Atlantic and the United States – better equipped, more effective and more powerful,” they point out.
Reviving the Franco-German couple
After months of hesitation, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz are challenged to relaunch the Franco-German tandem on Sunday in Paris, for the 60th anniversary of the Reconciliation Treaty between the two countries. This agreement has made it possible to “overcome decades, even centuries, of bitter rivalries and bloody wars between our two countries in the heart of Europe”, argue the two leaders.
European sovereignty should not be measured only in military terms but also on the capacities of “resilience and to act in a prospective manner in strategic areas”. This implies a diversification of “strategic supply goods”, they add. Europe must also do everything to “become the first climate-neutral continent in the world”.
Macron and Scholz cite as other objectives that Europe become “a world leader in production and innovation” and that “economic and social progress go hand in hand with an ecological transition”. The festivities promise to be quite formal on Sunday with a ceremony at the Sorbonne in the morning followed by a Franco-German Council of Ministers at the Elysee Palace, the very one which had been postponed at the end of October against the backdrop of bilateral dissension.