Globalist Germany and nationalist France?

German Chancellor Olaf Scoltz and French President Emmanuel Macron

Diana Johnstone, a long-time independent reporter of European politics, wrote an interesting article about the differences between Germany and France in economic, environmental and military police.

Germany is confident and expansive.  France is defensive and fearful of national decline.  Or so she says.

Germany is committed to green energy, feminism, globalization and an anti-Russian “rules-based international order.”  France is committed to nuclear energy and a nationalistic industrial policy, and is reluctant to join in a new Cold War against Russia.

Franco-German unity has been the key to European unity since the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner of the European Union, in 1952.   If they can’t stay unified, the EU may not have much of a future.

Germany’s new government is, as she puts it, a “traffic light” coalition.  Red represents the Social Democrats, yellow (or gold) represents the pro-business Free Democrats and green represents the Green Party.

A new Ministry of Economic and Climate will be in charge of reducing CO2 emissions.  Every governmental measure will have to pass a climate check.  

Germany today is heavily dependent on coal as a result of phasing out nuclear energy, and it has delayed certification of the new gas pipeline from Russia.  Itt has a goal of generating 80 percent of Germany’s electricity from renewable energy, mainly wind farms, by 2030, sooner than before.

One of the new government’s priorities is to develop an electric car industry for the export market, both inside and outside the EU.  Germany’s expectation is that all EU countries will be open to importing the new electric cars without favoring their own industry.   The European Commission is considering rules that would require all cars sold in Europe after 2035 to be carbon neutral.

France’s Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, is being pulled to the right, Johnstone wrote.  There is a fear that France is losing its national character and also its position in the world.  France is not going to shut down its network of nuclear-powered electric power plants any time soon.

The French government wants to build up French manufacturing industry.  This might bring it into conflict with EU rules and regulations, which bans government policies to favor domestic industry, except in the military sphere.

There has a strong right-wing, anti-immigrant movement in France, led by Marine Le Pen.  But now there’s an even more extreme movement, led by a journalist named Eric Zemmour.  His party is called the Reconquest Party; the idea is to reconquer France for the French.

The new German government wants strong ties with the United States, which, according to Johnstone, means dropping objections to storing nuclear weapons on German soil.  France hasn’t openly opposed NATO, but is less enthusiastic about the alliance than Germany is.

Macron has floated the idea of an independent European military force, independent of the United States, but hasn’t gotten anywhere with the Germans and other NATO allies.  Johnstone said he wouldn’t like Ukraine in NATO, because it would expand German influence and its farm exports would compete with French farmers.

What’s interesting to me is that in Western Europe, and also in the USA, the globalists and neoliberals, not the nationalists, are the war hawks.

It is globalists and neoliberals who are willing to go to war in the name of feminism, human rights and democracy.  Nationalists, such as Pat Buchanan and Tucker Carlson in the USA, want to keep the troops at home and build up their own countries’ strength.

Historically it is the left that has been anti-war.  Here was have a meeting of left and right, on this particular point, in a good way.


The Growing Franco-German Estrangement by Diana Johnstone for Consortium News (not to be confused with Caitlin Johnstone).

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One Response to “Globalist Germany and nationalist France?”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    The great powers of Europe have been at each other’s throats for as long as they have been great powers. The most important function of the EU is to keep disputes polite and governed by rules.

    Britain, Germany, and France are no longer great powers but are more like strong regional powers. The presence of the US in NATO means they don’t need to have much military, though if they were to effectively combine their militaries Western Europe would qualify as a great power, even without the US.

    I don’t see that happening. Western Europe is much too fractious, despite the EU. One more major break and the EU may disintegrate, leaving NATO as the sole remaining shard of Western European Unity.


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