France, Germany, and the Quest for European Strategic Autonomy: Franco-German Defence Cooperation in A New Era

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Series Details Number 141
Publication Date 13/12/2017
ISBN 978-2-36567-803-2
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Progress in Franco-German security and defense cooperation is a key step towards strategic autonomy with its three dimensions: political, operational and industrial autonomy. Political autonomy has so far been neglected in Franco-German security and defense cooperation. Past cooperation was almost exclusively linked to the operational, sometimes industrial levels. The new impetus needs to be embedded in a farther reaching political dialogue.

This can best be achieved by elaborating a Franco-German White Paper on Security and Defense. At the operational level, the primary objective for Paris and Berlin is to enable Europeans to autonomously carry out the Petersberg tasks, as defined in article 43(1) of the Treaty of Lisbon. Nevertheless, the type of capabilities needed must be derived from a political analysis of the strategic environment and the threats posed. The same accounts for industrial autonomy where France and Germany should work towards closer cooperation and shared rules embedded in a political dialogue.

With seven concrete recommendations, the paper aims to contribute to establishing strategic autonomy, starting at the bilateral level to provide leadership for an ambitious European project.

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Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 29.03.18: Franco-German Differences Over Defense Make Europe Vulnerable

ESO Records
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 15.09.17: Can Merkel and Macron Deliver a Franco-German Plan for Europe? (et al)

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