Program Publications

The Challenges of German Leadership
New Geopolitical Balances and Constancy of the European Choice
by Claire Demesmay, Andreas Marchetti
Hérodote, Revue de Géographie et de Géopolitique, No. 175 (Quatrième trimestre 2019): L’Allemagne, 30 ans après, p. 55-67.
From 1989 to 2019, Germany stood by its most fundamental geopolitical choices. In particular, it confirmed its willingness to be anchored in the institutional framework of political Europe and remained committed to shared leadership with France. However, it is still far from comfortable with its new responsibilities, linked to its new centrality in Europe. This contribution aims to establish in which areas and in which form the Federal Republic has exercised leadership in Europe since the upheavals of 1989/1991.
Sustaining Multilateralism in a Multipolar World
Sustaining Multilateralism in a Multipolar WorldWhat France and Germany Can Do to Preserve the Multilateral Order
by Claire Demesmay, Claudia Schmucker, Elvire Fabry, Carole Mathieu, Eric-André Martin
Notes du Cerfa, No. 148, Ifri, June 2019, Claire Demesmay, Barbara Kunz, (ed.), 32 pp.
While international multilateralism is under strain, it is vital for France and Germany to defend it, since it is the most appropriate system for preserving their interests – particularly in terms of welfare, security, prosperity and environmental protection. Against this backdrop, three political fields offer opportunities for joint initiatives: trade, conventional arms control and climate change.
Straddling between Optimism and Mistrust
Straddling between Optimism and MistrustFrance’s Youth Doubts Reform Successes
by Julie Hamann, Sara Jakob
DGAPanalysis 7 (November 2018), 11 pp.
For many young people in France, President Macron’s reforms failed to alleviate their social anxieties. Unemployment remains high, employment conditions precarious, and what started as a protest against new fuel taxes quickly spilled over to other reform areas including social policy. Macron will need to gain the youngsters’ trust ahead of the European Parliament election – not least because its outcome will decisively shape his domestic credibility, and consequently, his political fate.
A difficult convergence: Franco-German cooperation during the refugee crisis
by Claire Demesmay
Annuaire français des relations internationales 2018, volume XIX, pp. 455-467
Migration and asylum policies in Europe point to a tension between the need for cooperation and the willingness to ensure national interests. Covering two distinct phases, which are articulated around Summer 2015, this article analyses how France and Germany have dealt with this tension. It examines both the bilateral dimension of their relationship and its impact in the European context, in order to define the criteria for successful Franco-German cooperation.
What Germany Needs To Do Next...
What Germany Needs To Do Next...On France and the EU
by Claire Demesmay, Jana Puglierin
Berlin Policy Journal, 5. September 2017
Meet Paris half-way and let it lead, too, lose your self-satisfied tone, and be more creative in developing ideas to bring the whole EU forward.
The Franco-German Pact
More Common Ground than Disagreement
by Claire Demesmay, Jana Puglierin
European Leadership Network, July 11, 2017
In Germany, both Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz are strong champions of the European project and closer ties with France. However, regardless of who wins the election in September 2017, there are some areas in Franco-Germans relations where cooperation will be easier said than done.
France and Germany: Pairing up to Repair Europe
France and Germany: Pairing up to Repair EuropeAn interview with Claire Demesmay in Green European Journal
by Claire Demesmay
Green European Journal, June 29, 2017
Regardless of whether Angela Merkel or Martin Schulz is elected in September 2017, the next German chancellor’s relationship with Emmanuel Macron and France will be crucial for the EU’s future. The Franco-German relationship has always involved constructive cooperation, but it has also been marked by a certain tension and rivalry. Is this somewhat dysfunctional “couple” fit to lead such a large European family? Can the historical “engine of Europe” still propel European integration forward?
Macron’s Election May Be Good News for Europe
Macron’s Election May Be Good News for Europebut France’s Euroscepticism has not yet been put to rest
by Claire Demesmay, Julie Hamann
Published by International Politics and Society, May 8, 2017
It is no secret that Emmanuel Macron expects a great deal from cooperation with Berlin. His election is good news not only for France but also for Germany and German-French cooperation. But his clear commitment does not automatically mean France will now partner with Germany to once again become the force driving the EU.
The Future of the European Project
by Thierry Chopin, Jean-François Jamet
DGAPanalyse 8, September 15, 2016, 14 pp. (in German)
At the EU summit on September 16 in Bratislava, 27 heads of state and government sought to show that the European Union would be facing the future together, despite the outcome of the British referendum to leave the EU. Thierry Chopin of the Fondation Robert Schuman and economist Jean-François Jamet describe how factors that previously brought unity to the European project have fallen by the wayside. They also suggest how these can be found again.
French Susceptibility to Russian Propaganda
French Susceptibility to Russian Propaganda"There are Always Two Sides to the Truth"
by Claire Demesmay
DGAPkompakt 4 (February 2016), 8 pp.
There are many reasons why France has become a key target of Moscow’s soft power in recent years. These include the country’s diplomatic weight and influence on European politics but also its deep currents of anti-Americanism and anti-globalization. Despite the French population’s largely negative view of Russia, Moscow has always had friends in the French political elite.
After Paris
After ParisWhat are the Political Consequences of the Attacks within Europe and beyond?
by Claire Demesmay, Sarah Hartmann, Stefan Meister, Henning Riecke, Gereon Schuch
Originally published in German (Monday, November 16, 2015).
How will domestic and external discussions of European security change in response to the November 13 attacks on Paris? How will they shape future measures to fight ISIS in Irak and Syria? This Monday, five of the DGAP's experts came together for a discussion – and noted the grave danger of combining an analysis of the causes of the Paris attacks with the ongoing debate on how to handle Europe’s refugee crisis.
The French Identity Crisis
The French Identity CrisisDebate Intensifies after the Attacks
by Claire Demesmay
DGAPkompakt 8 (July 7, 2015), 6 pp. In English
What makes France French, and does French national identity have a future? What can and should be the role of religion in French society? And does France need new rules for peaceful coexistence within the community? These are the fundamental questions shaping the discussion on collective identity and social cohesion, a debate reignited by the terrorist attacks on Paris in January 2015.
Opening up the Franco-German Dialogue
Opening up the Franco-German Dialogue How Trialogues Can Enhance European Integration
by Claire Demesmay, Hans Stark
DGAPanalyse 6 (June 2015), 53 pp.
As the EU confronts an unprecedented number of crises, it is crucial to open up the longstanding Franco-German tandem to other partners. The ten authors of this compendium explore ten such possible triangular configurations – involving, respectively, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, the Western Balkans, Turkey, the European Commission, and the European Parliament – and point to several other potentially productive “trialogues.”
Dichotomies in Franco-Russian Relations (Dualitäten der französischen Russlandpolitik)
Dichotomies in Franco-Russian Relations (Dualitäten der französischen Russlandpolitik)The Ukraine crisis is putting a flourishing business relationship to the test
by Laure Delcour
DGAPanalyse 4 (March 2015), 11 pp. In German.
For France, the worsening state of Russia’s relations with the EU corresponds with bilateral relations that have deteriorated since 2011, when a rift began to open on the subject of Syria. The Ukrainian crisis brought an abrupt end to once-flourishing business relations. Decisions in Paris now depend on two parameters: how the crisis in Ukraine develops further and how this will effect EU-level decisions. The analysis is available in German and French.
French Foreign Policy Toward Central Eastern Europe
French Foreign Policy Toward Central Eastern EuropeTen years after the European Union’s eastern enlargement, France has a real presence in the region
by Elsa Tulmets, David Cadier
DGAPanalyse 11, May 28, 2014, 14 pp.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, France reacted cautiously to the political and economic changes in the east, insisting on conditions for Central Eastern European countries (CEECs) to join the EU. Yet ultimately, the CEECs’ rapid reform course managed to convince French actors of the importance of this region. Has Paris integrated these new actors into its European policy?
Workshop for Consensus, French edition
Workshop for Consensus, French editionFranco-German communication and decision making processes in European policy
by Claire Demesmay, Martin Koopmann, Julien Thorel
Foreword: Travaux et documents du CIRAC, February 2014 (In French)
How does Franco-German cooperation in European policy really work on the ground? The two countries have substantially influenced European integration for decades now, but have the plethora of bilateral institutions and mechanisms for making decisions actually improved the processes of reaching agreement? What are the prime movers? Where are the limits to making collective choices? Editors Claire Demesmay, Martin Koopman, and Julien Thorel present ten case studies in central areas of European action. (In French).
Franco-German Relations: Sunny Skies, and Not a Moment too Soon
Franco-German Relations: Sunny Skies, and Not a Moment too SoonBerlin and Paris want to cooperate more closely. For the EU to move forward, major efforts are needed
by Claire Demesmay
ParisBerlin 96, March 2014, 11 pages (Article in French)
Cooperation between France and Germany has not been at its smoothest for some time now already. If the partners are to develop new momentum for the European project, however, they must get down to work with new ambition. The Franco-German Council of Ministers, which recently convened both cabinets, is an appropriate forum for showing good will. As Claire Demesmay writes, the task now is to develop joint solutions – be it for defense, energy, or neighborhood policy. (In French)
When Pictures Make Politics
When Pictures Make PoliticsFinding new symbols for tackling the German-French past
by Claire Demesmay, Klemens Kober
DGAPkompakt 6, September 3, 2013, 6 pp.
German President Gauck recently took part in a memorial ceremony in France to mark the June 1944 massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. In doing so, he closed one of the last gaps in the process of coming to terms with the German-French past. A plethora of symbols has grown up over the years, but the work of communicating and reaching mutual understanding must continue. Shared gestures are of great importance to the countries’ largely pragmatic cooperation. The art lies in finding the right images.
Power Struggle in Tunisia
Power Struggle in TunisiaIslamists and secularists wrestle over the new constitution while citizens protest political violence
by Katrin Sold
Five Questions, July 29, 2013
Tunesia, cradle of the Arab Spring, remains unsettled. While politicians debate the role of religion in the constitution, the population is venting its discontent over vulnerable social conditions, creeping Islamization, and political violence. The July murder of Mohamed Brahmi, the second prominent opposition politician to die this year, has led to new demonstrations against the regime. The government’s future depends on how vehemently the call for change is articulated on the street.
France: The Paralyzed Country
France: The Paralyzed CountryClaire Demesmay on Franco-German tensions and the economic crisis next door
by Claire Demesmay
Five Questions, May 6, 2012
The mountain of French debt continues to grow. So does unemployment. Competitiveness remains a weak point. Germany’s most important partner in the EU is in deep economic crisis. President François Hollande has now been in office for a full year, but French approval ratings for him have fallen sharply. Germans are concerned not only about the French government’s reform efforts, which are far from successful, but also by the anti-German comments coming from within Hollande’s Socialist Party.