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A Franco-German political spring

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22.01.2019

There is always a touch of kitsch in the air when an aging couple renews its vows. If they want to overcome phases of indifference and crises and reestablish their partnership in a symbolic gesture. The situation is no different for nation states. The champagne often served on such occasions quickly goes to your head, but its effect soon subsides.

In Aachen on Tuesday, Germany and France will be toasting the renewal of their partnership. And this is about more than just navel-gazing. It was always one of German foreign policy's guiding principles that the Federal Republic never wanted to find itself in a situation in which it had to choose between the US and France. This principle was affirmed after 1949 by all governing coalitions and cabinets, and it continued to hold true when reunified Germany regained sovereignty in 1990. But now the scales seem to be tipping clearly in one direction — in favor of France.

Recalibrating alliances

Christian F.........

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