The German Chancellor and the French President have one last chance to get the Franco-German engine running again. But instead they set off fireworks of self-expression and show a lack of motivation.

There are aggressive anti-Europeans in all European countries. They don’t like the euro, hate the Brussels institutions and the idea of ​​a political unity that transcends the nation state. 

But the dishonest Europeans are no less dangerous for the community project. They are the stealth bombers among politicians. You say Europe, but you mean Paris. Or Berlin. Or Rome. Or Madrid. 

This is a species that lives in the middle of the party spectrum, promotes a united Europe on its lips, only to then betray it in everyday life through lack of drive (Olaf Scholz) or fireworks of self-promotion (Emmanuel Macron). 

  !function(){var t=window.addEventListener?”addEventListener”:”attachEvent”;(0,window[t])(“attachEvent”==t?”onmessage”:”message”,function(t){if(“string”==typeof

If the German Chancellor and the French President meet now, it will be the last chance of their two terms in office to get the German-French engine going. So far, their biggest similarity has been that they didn’t look for common ground.                

Their predecessors were of a different caliber. The names changed. But the passion for Europe remained:

Today, however, we are experiencing a succession of German-French incidents:                

As Sigmar Gabriel says, the Germans made it from Auschwitz to Brussels in a very short space of time. That was the sensation of the post-war period. 

One person who made this sensation possible was Helmut Schmidt. He served in Hitler’s Wehrmacht with the rank of first lieutenant in the Luftwaffe, and later he was the one who came up with the common currency and implemented its predecessor.

As Chancellor, during his return flight from a state visit to the USA on July 7, 1974, he directed the Chancellor’s plane from the original destination airport of Cologne-Bonn to Paris to speak with French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The aim was to reduce the exchange rate fluctuations between the franc and the German mark and to agree on the preliminary stage of a real monetary union. The meeting ended with a spectacular Franco-German solidarity.

Today, this diplomatic enthusiasm in the Federal Chancellery has evaporated. Emmanuel Macron’s France, which constantly produces new initiatives, is starving Scholz. His chancellor plane only ever lands in Berlin. 

The Frenchman pays no attention to the sensitivities of his partner Scholz. The political pyrotechnician Macron sends his ideas into the night sky above the Élysée like Bengali fireworks. 

The European Capital Markets Union. The European Finance Minister. The common European defense. The unified anti-China policy. European ground troops for Ukraine.

None of this has been discussed with Olaf Scholz. The French president acts as a unilateralist. The main thing is that his political personality is illuminated by this firework of ideas.

In addition, not all French initiatives are in German interests. Germany does not want any further European debt and a protectionist anti-China policy is not welcomed by the German export industry.

Macron dupes Scholz because he doesn’t include him. Scholz disapproves of the Frenchman’s initiatives by not reciprocating them. 

Where the majority of Germans and French want an effective European executive, when it comes to protecting external borders and ending illegal migration, neither has much to offer. 

Both say the rule of law and practice laissez-faire. Scholz announces rigorous deportations in Spiegel (“We finally have to deport people on a large scale”) and then does not undertake any significant activity.                  

In doing so, the dishonest Europeans Macron and Scholz are handing over the issue as a blank to the aggressive anti-Europeans. In the weapons factories of the right-wing populists, this preliminary product is fused into an offensive weapon against the European idea. “Germany for the Germans,” they shout in the Sylt video. “On est chez nous” (“We are home”) chant Marine Le Pen and her supporters. 

Ukraine gets too much to die for and too little to survive as a free country. 20 percent of the territory is already in Russian hands, says former NATO strategist Stefanie Babst. The ever-new waves of attacks and the ongoing offensive on Kharkiv do not bode well.

Scholz and Macron are responding to this threat to freedom as solo artists. Scholz – who is presenting himself as peace chancellor in the European election campaign – is investing more in Ukraine’s self-defense than the French, but does not want to be active with Taurus cruise missiles or ground troops. 

He is predictable for Putin because he says no to anything that could turn this war around.

Macron is financially cautious and strong in his rhetoric. He offers Ukraine European ground troops, although there cannot be a majority for this without diplomatic preparatory work. Putin knows that a French loudmouth is making an appearance here. 

!function(){var t=window.addEventListener?”addEventListener”:”attachEvent”;(0,window[t])(“attachEvent”==t?”onmessage”:”message”,function(t){if(“string”==typeof

Conclusion: The Chancellor is not acting as a builder in the European house, but as a caretaker. The state actor Macron, on the other hand, plays the master of the house, which is just a pose and not a policy given the separation of powers in Europe.  

Both should use the coming days for inner reflection and to refute the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy:

“Everyone thinks about changing the world. Nobody thinks about changing themselves.”