Franco-German relations as the ‘engine’ of European integration are widely perceived to have stalled in recent years. This policy contribution assesses what the Franco-German relationship can achieve, what its shortcomings are, and what it means for the wider governance of the euro area and the European Union.
As it begins its EU renegotiation, the UK risks antagonising even close allies such as Germany.
The article argues that many of the issues that are causing trouble in the eurozone today had long been debated, but not solved, prior to the beginning of the so-called euro crisis.
The EMS, created in 1979, is part of the prehistory of the euro: it was a first concrete attempt at organising the European Union’s – that was still then the European Economic Community (EEC) – currency relations. And the discussions that took place then bear a striking resemblance to our current predicament.