February 1, 2023
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French and German leaders gloss over divisions at summit

PARIS — The leaders of France and Germany sought at a summit on Sunday to pave over divisions which have dogged Europe’s closest bilateral relation because the conflict in Ukraine broke out, leaving a lot of their most vexed points to be labored out later. 

In a present of pageantry and unity, the 2 governments marked the sixtieth anniversary of a friendship treaty signed by France’s Charles de Gaulle and Germany’s Konrad Adenauer with speeches at the Sorbonne College in Paris and a joint cupboard assembly at the Elysee Palace. 

The summit between the 2 governments, historically the driving drive behind broader EU coverage initiatives, had initially been deliberate for October, however was postponed amid variations on points starting from vitality coverage to protection procurement. 

“The Franco-German motor is a compromise machine — well oiled, but sometimes loud and needing hard work,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned in a speech at the Sorbonne. 

The 2 governments issued a joint assertion flagging plans to press forward with joint initiatives for a most important battle tank, in house applications, and in creating hydrogen manufacturing and battery applied sciences. 

However additionally they papered over deeper variations. 

French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned the 2 international locations agreed the European Union (EU) wanted to seek out funds to make inexperienced investments within the industrial sector in response to US subsidies for inexperienced vitality below Washington’s $369 billion Inflation Discount Act (IRA). 

“We have a real convergence in the responses we are bringing,” Mr. Macron mentioned at a information convention with Mr. Scholz, however provided no concrete particulars. 

German officers say Berlin sees no need for a brand new sovereign EU fund that France considers crucial to assist European trade make investments to stay aggressive in opposition to US corporations benefiting from beneficiant tax credit below the IRA. 

The 2 governments additionally dedicated solely vaguely to work on an EU overhaul of the electrical energy market, on which France desires pressing progress because it prepares an unlimited nuclear vitality push whereas Berlin is skeptical and doesn’t wish to rush into. 

In the meantime, on protection, Mr. Macron opened the door to French involvement in plans between Germany and greater than a dozen different European international locations to pool air protection capabilities, saying Paris would weigh dangers and attainable investments within the “coming weeks and months.” — Reuters

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