Germany and France are set to forge a pact aligning their defense, diplomatic and economic policies in an unprecedented “twinning” pact “regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union,” according to The Times‘ Oliver Moody.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will sign the “Aachen treaty” later this month which will govern a coordinated diplomatic front as well as joint actions on peacekeeping missions.
What’s more – areas on both sides of the Franco-German border will be encouraged to establish “Eurodistricts” in which both countries would merge water, electricity and public transport networks.
Berlin and Paris will offer cash to incentivise these cross-border areas, which could involve shared hospitals, joint business schemes or environmental projects. Some officials regard these experiments as a petri dish for the integration of the EU. –The Times
No word on whether France will accept half of Germany’s refugees.
Additionally, both countries will lobby for Berlin to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations security council, where France already sits with the United States, China, Russia and Britain. Berlin was elected to the council as a non-permanent member last June.
France and Germany will also coordinate policy positions ahead of pivotal EU summits in order to make the bloc a “more decisive power on the world stage.” In short – the treaty will solidify the two countries’ commitments to “the values of multilateralism at a time when the global liberal order is under threat,” writes Moody.
The two countries will hold “regular consultations on all levels before major European meetings, and take care to establish common positions and issue joint statements,” according to the agreement, and will “stand up for a strong and effective common foreign and defence policy, and strengthen and deepen the economic and currency union.”
Both President Macron and Mrs Merkel have expressed frustration at the rise of populism and nationalism, and at Europe’s dithering in the face of problems such as climate change and mass migration.
On New Year’s Eve Mrs Merkel declared that Germany would “stand up and fight” for multilateralism and was ready to assume more responsibility in the world.