Sixty years of Franco-German friendship

France and Germany have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, which is seen as the cornerstone of the friendship between the formerly hostile states. Chancellor Scholz thanked France "from the bottom of his heart", while President Macron called for the two countries to be the "pioneers in the refoundation of Europe". Not all media share the euphoria.

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Die Welt (DE) /

A step towards European sovereignty

Macron received a gift that will bring Europe forwards, says Die Welt:

“When even Olaf Scholz, who normally forbids all sentimentality, appears downright emotional by his standards, this testifies to the significance of this birthday celebration. ... And on this festive day Macron also finally got an answer to another question: five years after the French president's first Sorbonne speech, Scholz explicitly acknowledged Macron's concept of European sovereignty, which his predecessor Angela Merkel entirely rejected. For Macron, this alone is cause for celebration, and for Europe it is a big step forward.”

Le Monde (FR) /

Include others in the friendship

The duo must not make decisions on their own, political scientist Thibault Muzergues warns in Le Monde:

“Since Brexit in particular, there has been no serious alternative for the leadership of the EU. ... So Germany and France are obliged to reach an understanding despite their differences. But to do so they must rethink their relationship not only bilaterally, but also in the EU context: because in recent years they have too often conveyed the impression of making certain strategic decisions (above all on relations with China or Russia) without consulting their partner countries.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Strongest countries just looking out for number 1

France and Germany have called for "swift and ambitious European action" on industrial subsidies, but La Repubblica is sceptical:

“Now they're pushing for further relaxation of anti-trust rules so that both Paris and Berlin can funnel even more public capital into supporting their companies. Should the demand for a 'carte blanche' for state aid prevail, existing and new European funds yet to be created would serve as a fig leaf to disguise the de facto renationalisation of the EU economy. For the benefit of the strongest, of course.”