Hopes for a spectacular relaunch of the European Union’s Franco-German “motor” after Brexit have thus far failed to materialize. Quite the contrary, now that Paris and Berlin find themselves without the British “third wheel,” almost every issue seems to trigger a bilateral squabble. Whether it is armaments cooperation, energy supply from Moscow, or policy towards Turkey, Franco-German disagreements keep rising to the surface. One of these has drawn much attention recently since it relates to the very nature of Europe and its links to the United States: the question of whether or how Europe (by which they usually mean the European Union) should pursue more strategic autonomy. Although the term has come to be associated with current French President Emmanuel Macron, the concept goes back almost 60 years to the first President of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle.
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