French president Charles de Gaulle and German chancellor Konrad Adenauer shaking hands on a plaque.
Plaque commemorating the Franco-German cooperation in Berlin. (Image: BTFold Media, based on original photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via

From Allies to Competitors – The End of Franco-German Cooperation?

The once-cordial and very pragmatic, yet noble relationship between Germany and France are under strain. The war in Ukraine has shown the fundamental differences in how the leaders of the two countries view the world, their countries possibilities and the way to treat the problems they and their population face.

French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to shine as a true leader of the European bloc, fostering closer cooperation and new fora while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz seems to be swimming upstream, distancing himself even from the coalition he is the head of and is apparently laying down the foundations of a "Germany first" political stance.

This analysis examines what is behind these changes and observes patterns in the domain of defense policy, geopolitics and energy policy.

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István Vass
István Vass is a Hungarian foreign policy journalist. Graduated in European and International Administration, he spent his traineeship at the Hungarian Permanent Representation in Brussels and then went on to work in various ministries inside the Hungarian public administration. His articles have been published in various online and print outlets in Hungary. In his writing he focuses on the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and the post-soviet region.

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