Germany backs France for ‘more sovereign’ Europe: German Foreign Minister

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock holds a press conference at the foreign office in Berlin, Germany
Annalena Baerbock became Germany's first woman top diplomat when the country's new coalition government was formed. Michael Sohn / POOL / AFP
France and Germany bear a "special responsibility" to make the European Union a stronger world power as Paris assumes the bloc's rotating presidency, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told AFP on Friday.

Germany’s coalition government has said it wants to increase the bloc’s “strategic sovereignty” as rivalries between world powers such as the United States, China and Russia adversely affect the EU.

French President Emmanuel Macron has long envisioned a stronger European Union, saying he aimed to make it “powerful in the world” during France’s six-month presidency of the European Council beginning on January 1st.

Germany will also host the next G7 summit in June as president of the group of wealthy democracies, giving the EU a chance to establish global diplomatic leadership in 2022.

The two countries, “as the closest of friends at the heart of Europe, bear a special responsibility for a united European Union, capable of acting and looking towards the future,” said Baerbock.

France’s presidency is “an important opportunity we want to seize together to strengthen Europe and make it fit to rise up to tomorrow’s challenges”, she added.

“Our French friends can count on our support from the first day to the last to prepare the ground for a sustainable economic recovery, in the fight against the climate crisis, in digitalisation and for a more sovereign Europe.”

France’s priorities for its European Council presidency include a bloc-wide minimum wage, more regulation on digital giants and a carbon border tax.

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Member comments

  1. Russia was promised many years ago that NATO wouldn’t be expanded into its backyard. So why is the German foreign minister supporting NATO expansion into Russian territory? Why is she fighting Nord Stream 2 which Germany needs real bad? If she wants to have a sovereign Europe why is she allowing the United States to encroach on German interests? The last thing we need is to provoke the Russian bear. Check her Wikipedia profile and you will gain an insight.

  2. There’s only so much sovereignty to go round. A more sovereign Europe, by definition, means a less sovereign France. I wonder if that’s what people really want and if anyone will ask them.

    1. Russia is a world power in a military context, not an economic one. If the EU wants to build ‘sovereignty’ to be included in this bracket, it must have the means to defend itself like a global power and not rely on the US. This is what Putin fears and would stop him in his tracks.

      1. Since 5 member states are neutral and the rest don’t even pay what NATO expects from them , there’s no chance that the EU will ever be in a position to defend itself.

        1. Exactly. Which is what encourages the Russians to keep testing for weakness.
          The EU as a federal entity is a huge joke. It will never happen. To talk about EU sovereignty is just more hot air.

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