|Author (Person)||Saint-Paul, Gérard|
|Publisher||Robert Schuman Foundation|
|Series Title||Policy Papers: European Issues|
|Series Details||No.264, January 2013|
|Publication Date||January 2013|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
For nearly three quarters of a century, generation after generation, from 1870 to 1945, the French have kept their eyes riveted on the "blue line of the Vosges", this horizon, a bearer of war, national defence and patriotic values. If we calculate almost year for year, without including the Napoleonic period of broken alliances, at a time when Germany was still but an idea, direct conflict between the Germans and French lasted 75 years.
In view of the turbulent history of the European continent and with all respect due to the victims of three wars, 75 years is both a long period for the price of the blood spilled and little in terms of its relative duration: for nearly 75 years France and Germany have been at peace and with them, all of Europe, if we consider that the Cold War - a simple parenthesis – is, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990, far behind us. Fifty years after the signature of the cooperation treaty between General De Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer, France and Germany have perpetuated the grand wager which they mutually committed to: the duo sometimes appears to be in a peaceful yet competitive duel.
The friendship between Paris and Berlin is more demanding than any other on the continent because it influences them. The Germans are no longer the singular, even frightening inhabitants of a strange planet. They too have chosen Europe. On this anniversary we should remember that the latter face a simple choice: to exist via a relaxed, free Franco-German friendship or sink into historical stalemate.
|Countries / Regions||France, Germany|