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16.07.2019 International

France Shows Germany How To Lead

France Shows Germany How To Lead

The Frenchman Franky Zapata in front of the Eiffel Tower: This is how Emmanuel Macron imagines the future of the soldier. With the gun in his hand. The French jetski racer Franky Zapata flew over the Champs-Elysées with the so-called Flyboard Air.

Franky Zapata is world champion in jet skiing. Yesterday, he hovered over the Champs-Elysées on a flyboard for about a minute. An impressive spectacle. For that moment, it attracted the attention of the entire French nation, as it was used as part of the French National Day parade.

Many spectators worldwide followed the spectacle as well. And one of course was aware of this: French President Emmanuel Macron. He wants to use flying soldiers in the future, also the French army is to launch a space program. The man is going ahead.

On National Day, representatives from politics and the military from ten European countries were invited who would like to work together more closely in the future. Chancellor Angela Merkel came, along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Merkel said after the parade that she saw the invitation as "a big gesture towards European defense policy." In fact, the vision of a European army is a matter of the Macron's heart, as he had demanded back in November of last year Leaving the US for its defense and demanding a "true European army".

In Germany he reaps a lot of approval. Basically. The Chancellor demanded a few days after Macron even a "real European army". However, when the FDP asked in the spring in a small request, what was meant by that, the federal government did with a hard answer. Twice she asked for extension of time. Then the answer was: "The concept of the 'European Army' is in the view of the Federal Government symbolic of the political demand for a progressive European integration in the area of ​​security and defense ..."

So emblematic, our government is behind the demand Macron. For more, it is currently not enough. The German citizens see it quite differently: According to a survey by, just under 70 percent would be for a European army.

The project would not be simple: even the fundamental military self-understanding of the European states would have to be reconciled. Thus, military intervention in France is understood as a legitimate means of foreign policy. In Germany we are far away from it - historically for good reasons. Peaceful solutions always came first with all federal governments.

In the 21st century, against the background of growing conflicts around Europe, it is high time to define a compromise line and common attitude. Of course there can be: In Mali, German-French cooperation has already worked perfectly. The intervention there is based on common values ​​and interests. They could also be the basis for a European army. You just have to want it.

There are plenty of questions to clarify: Are our common ideas in Europe enough for such an army? Would there still be national armies? Are all EU countries involved in this alliance or is it an army of the willing? Any questions that can be answered. It would send a strong signal to Russia but also to the US. Europe would be richer for a power factor.

Macron does not shy away from this task. And also knows that without Germany as a partner, he will not be able to realize the project. Anyway, in Paris he presented himself again today as a strong leader. I would like to see someone in German politics have the urge to be involved. At the moment, someone is missing on the political stage.

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)

Francis Tawiah
Francis Tawiah, © 2019

This author has authored 584 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: FrancisTawiah

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