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Post: Compromise is impossible. What will cause the collapse of the European Union?

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PARIS, April 3 – RIA Novosti, Daniil Nizamutdinov. The once tight-knit alliance of Paris and Berlin, dubbed the locomotive of the EU, is bursting at the seams. The difficult socio-economic situation forces each country to seek its own interests against the interests of its partner. What discusses the former allies – in the material of RIA Novosti.

deaf dialogue

Two months ago, at a meeting in Paris to mark the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Settlement Treaty between France and Germany, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz flamboyantly shook hands and loudly declared mutually beneficial cooperation. But in reality, Paris and Berlin are more divided than ever before, especially on key issues regarding Europe’s energy future.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the G20 summit in Bali - RIA Novosti, 1920, 30.03.2023
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the G20 summit in Bali

A source from the French government told Echos, “This is a dialogue of the deaf. Whenever another European text is brought to the negotiating table, we find ourselves in the same positions and it is very difficult for us to find a compromise.” .

The subject of discussion is primarily nuclear energy. Germany decided to curb this sector after an accident at a nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011. The remaining three power units have been completed over the past few days – they will be decommissioned in April.

France has the most powerful nuclear reactor fleet in Europe. For 25 years, more than 70 percent of the energy here has been provided by nuclear power plants. And Paris doesn’t want to change that.

International action abroad Earth Hour - RIA Novosti, 1920, 30.03.2023
International “Earth Hour” campaign abroad

France is pleased with the energy sector reform plan proposed by the European Commission, which envisages an increase in the share of renewable resources and the phasing out of natural gas. This does not apply to the nuclear industry.

However, due to Berlin’s opposition, Paris was unable to secure this industry’s inclusion in the list of “clean” technologies and obtain the relevant regulatory and financial advantages.

In addition, the French could not persuade their partners to equate low-carbon hydrogen produced with the help of nuclear energy to ordinary hydrogen and classify it as a renewable resource.

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car controversy

Another problematic point is the automotive sector. Especially internal combustion engines. Last year, under France’s EU presidency, they agreed on a plan to limit the production of internal combustion engine cars, which effectively bans their sale until 2035.

The automotive industry is one of the key industries in Germany. In early March, the Germans blocked this project.

Renault automobile manufacturing plant in Moscow - RIA Novosti, 1920, 30.03.2023
Renault automobile manufacturing plant

After lengthy negotiations in Brussels, EU leaders finally reached a compromise. An exception is made for cars running on carbon-neutral synthetic e-fuels derived from green electricity.

“The happy owners of Mercedes and BMW will be able to use synthetic fuels after 2035, obviously not that clean. It’s called lobbying and our neighbors are better at this game than we are,” said Natasha Poloni, Marianne’s editor-in-chief. , writes in an author’s column.

BMW 850 Koenig Specials presented at the rare sports cars exhibition at GUM as part of the GUM Youngtimer Rally - RIA Novosti, 1920, 30.03.2023
BMW 850 Koenig Specials presented at the rare sports cars exhibition at GUM as part of the “GUM Youngtimer Rally”

For him, this is a failure for Emmanuel Macron and a chance for Olaf Scholz. Poloni states that in this difficult time, pragmatic Germans defend national interests at all costs, while naive French are still prone to lyrics and ideology.

“It is necessary to get rid of this mythology, which dreams that everything will return to normal, the Franco-German couple will overcome the quarrels and once again become the victorious engine of European society.”

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composure in a relationship

Tensions between Paris and Berlin arose long ago, with observers repeatedly calling the personal relationship between Macron and Scholz “icy.” In October, the summit in Paris turned out to be crumpled – the heads of state did not even appear to reporters, canceling the press conference. The symbolic joint meeting of the French-German Council of Ministers was also cancelled. A few days later, the German chancellor went on an important trip to China alone, although the French side insisted on a joint visit.

Macron and Scholz have other problems as well. In Germany, banking sector woes afflicted Deutsche Bank, and severe political divisions within the ruling three-party coalition led to a government crisis.

Visitors at the entrance to the Deutsche Bank office in Moscow.  -RIA Novosti, 1920, 30/03/2023
Visitors at the entrance to the Deutsche Bank office in Moscow

In France, there is unrest in the second month as the retirement age is raised to 64. Paris is literally littered with garbage – the scavengers are on strike, the police are using water cannon and tear gas against the demonstrators.

Under these conditions and against the backdrop of other global crises, it is very difficult for the Franco-German duo to regain their old understanding.

Meanwhile, the Elysee Palace was built by the King of Great Britain III. He canceled Charles’ visit, which had been prepared with great fanfare, due to mass protests. The new British monarch has visited Germany – another humiliating gesture to Macron’s nose.

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Source: Ria

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