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Thread: 2 Become 1

  1. #1

    2 Become 1

    Congratulations to the happy couple

  2. #2
    International Mrs Steve R's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Become 1

    Awww, I thought this was going to be about you and Lardy

  3. #3

    Re: 2 Become 1

    Paris and Berlin herald new era of integration

    Two nations to share defence, foreign and economic policies

    France and Germany are to forge defence, foreign and economic policies in an unprecedented “twinning” arrangement regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union.

    This month Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will sign a treaty that paves the way for the two nations to present a united diplomatic front to the world and to mount joint peacekeeping missions in conflict zones. Both countries will lobby for Germany to receive a permanent seat on the UN security council, alongside France, the US, China, Russia and Britain, the leading Allied powers on the winning side at the end of the Second World War.

    France and Germany also intend to speak with one voice in Brussels, drawing up common positions before pivotal EU summits in an attempt to turn the bloc into a more decisive power on the world stage.

    The deal contains provisions for regions on either side of the Franco-German border to form “Eurodistricts”, with merged utilities or public transport networks. It is understood that these will be experiments for further integration of the EU.

    The treaty is designed to send out a signal that France and Germany will uphold the values of multilateralism at a time when the global liberal order is under threat. Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel have expressed their frustration at the rise of populism and nationalism, as well as Europe’s dithering in the face of problems such as climate change and mass migration.

    On New Year’s Eve the German chancellor declared that Germany would “stand up and fight” for multilateralism and was ready to assume more responsibility in the world.

    Last January diplomats from the two countries began negotiating an agreement in the spirit of the 1963 Elysée treaty, which formally set aside centuries of mutual hostility and established the Franco-German alliance that has since dominated the EU for more than half a century.

    The brief document will be signed on January 22 in Aachen, an ancient German spa city near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. It is meant to be ratified by the two national parliaments on the same day.

    The location is heavy with symbolism for the two countries. Aachen, known as Aix-la-Chapelle in French, was the Frankish imperial capital under Charlemagne, and was passed back and forth between German and French hands on several occasions since the 18th century.

    Leaked extracts from the new Aachen treaty describe the “harmonisation” of business regulations and the co-ordination of economic policy between the two states, guided by a joint council of experts. The text bears the imprint of Mr Macron’s desire to use Franco-German consensus to rally the EU into becoming more assertive as a global power in its own right.

    The two governments will commit to hold “regular consultations on all levels before major European meetings, and take care to establish common positions and issue joint ministerial statements”.

    “They will stand up for a strong and effective common foreign and defence policy, and strengthen and deepen the economic and currency union,” the treaty says.

    It lays the groundwork for a German-French defence and security council that would act as a “political steering group”, with each side influencing the other’s decisions.

    Berlin and Paris will also frequently exchange diplomats and civil servants. Ministers from one country will regularly sit in on the other’s cabinet meetings.

    On the military front, the treaty enshrines an ambition to form a “common culture and common deployments” overseas. A possible template for this arrangement is the 15,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Mali, a former French colony that was partly overrun by rebellious Touareg tribes and al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups in early 2012. While France bore the brunt of the fighting, the German armed forces have since supplied one of the largest non-African contingents, and some 370 German troops remain in the country today.

    Diplomats from some other EU member states view the Aachen treaty with suspicion. There are concerns that the ever closer union between the bloc’s two most powerful economies could create a juggernaut capable of crushing dissent beneath its wheels.

    The goal of Berlin winning a permanent place on the UN security council is also likely to irk some in Brussels, who feel that it should be awarded to the EU.

    After Brexit the only one of the five main seats will be held by an EU member.

    Germany, which began a two-year stint on the council at the start of January, is already guaranteed a seat roughly every eight years on account of its economic and geopolitical clout.

    The treaty is also likely to run into considerable domestic opposition in both countries. While the project enjoys support from across the political centre, it is vigorously contested by parties on the fringes of left and right.

    Alexander Gauland, leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, has described it as an “erosion of our national sovereignty”, while Marine le Pen, the figurehead of the National Assembly, formerly the far right National Front, said it was an “unbalanced” diktat from Germany.

  4. #4

    Re: 2 Become 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Wales-Bales View Post
    Congratulations to the happy couple

    "" Arrgh ,youse young sly french foxie , you likee a bitty of oldie Fräuleineeee , yah " ( apologies my German is not what it used to be )

  5. #5

    Re: 2 Become 1

    AFD thinking of doing a Dexit.

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