An off-the-cuff and not very productive German proposal has revived an older debate about France’s role and status in the world, as well as the measures which should be taken to enhance Europe’s strategic footprint.
The announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that their countries intend to cooperate in producing a new fighter aircraft has sparked great interest in UK defence and industrial circles. However, how significant is this as a ‘hard’ defence initiative?
The inauguration of the new US president has produced mixed reactions in Europe: some, like Germany, are cold-shouldering Donald Trump, while Britain is embracing him. Yet there is no consensus on what is the right approach. There is no guarantee that either would succeed in influencing Washington.