The Rapprochement Between Paris and Berlin

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One of the founding principles of the UNO is that all states and all people are free, equal and independent. This is the major difference with the League of Nations which preceded it The League always refused to recognise the equality of peoples in order to allow the system of colonisation to continue.

Each state has a voice equal to all the others. Consequently, it was not possible for the United States to acquire membership for its 50 federal states, nor for the USSR to acquire membership of their 15 united Republics – only the two federal states were valid. It would have been unfair for the United States to have 50 votes and the USSR 15 when the other members had only one.

Thus, France and Germany, who are to preside the Security Council respectively in March and April, have just announced that they intend to exercise their mandates together. Although this is not clear, it would seem to imply that the two delegations will hold the same position on all the subjects presented to them. The foreign policy of the two states will no longer be free and independent from one another.

No organisation founded on the equality of its members can survive this type of coalition.

This subject has already been raised since 1949 and the creation of NATO. The member states agreed to react collectively to any aggression against one of them. But to do so, they have accepted a form of organisation placed under the authority of the United States, which systematically occupies the important functions, such as those of the Supreme Commander (of the Chief of Staff).

At that time, the Soviet Union denounced the creation of a bloc whose member states were no longer free and independent. And yet this is exactly what the USSR did in 1968 by invading Czechoslovakia on the principle that members of the Warsaw Pact should not distance themselves from the common doctrine of Communism. Today, Soviet totalitarianism no longer exists, but that of the United States is still present.

It was precisely because he was opposed to the idea that French armed forces would be submitted to US authority that President Charles De Gaulle left the integrated command of NATO, while nonetheless remaining in the North Atlantic Treaty. This wise decision was repealed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who re–incorporated the integrated command in 2009.

France claims that the joint exercise of the presidency of the Security Council with Germany does not mean that the two countries are preparing to unite their seats at the UNO. However, it is since the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy that the Quai d’Orsay and the Wilhelmstrasse (in other words the French and German Ministries for Foreign Affairs) have begun to reduce their personnel and to task their embassies with sharing certain functions.

This rapprochement was interrupted by Presidents François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron, with a view to creating a military alliance with the United Kingdom, first envisaged by Jacques Chirac. But it was re-activated when it became clear that London was going to validate the Brexit, and was preparing new alliances.

The eventual fusion of French and German foreign policies poses several problems – first of all, it is only possible if the two armies also unite, without which the fusion would not be credible – Alain Juppé expressed this opinion in 1995. In this case, Germany would occupy a position of co-decider for the French strike force. This was considered by the Bundestag in 2017, and it is now the position of the director of the Security Conference in Munich, Wolfgang Ischinger [1]. This explains why Emmanuel Macron spoke of a European army in terms different from those of the European Defence Community (1954), in order that he might conclude in fine with a fusion of the French and German armies. Secondly, having the same Foreign and Defence policy supposes that the parties concerned are pursuing the same interests. This is what Paris and Berlin attempted by deploying joint forces, legally in the Sahel and illegally in Syria.

Far from creating a new state, the French-German rapprochement will seal the dependency of this new entity on Washington – today, the two armies are members of the integrated command of NATO, and obey the same Supreme Commander, chosen by the President of the United States. In fact, it is precisely this war-lord who achieved peace between France and Germany. Thus, not so long ago, the special forces of both sides were secretly fighting one another in ex-Yugoslavia, with the Serbs for one and with the Croatians for the other. The combat only ended when Washington imposed its point of view.

By hoping to unite Germany and France in the long run, their leaders are ignoring the human realities of their respective countries. Confusing the reconciliation of their people, realised by their predecessors, with the fusing of their interests and world view, they hope to create a new political system, without obeying any democratic control. In fact, why bother with these procedures since no-one is in charge?

Pete Kimberley

[1] “Ischinger sieht bei Bundeswehr „krassen Nachholbedarf“”, Michael Backfisch, Neue Ruhr Zeitung, 9 février 2019.

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