Dr. Claire Demesmay

Head of Program, Franco-German Relations Program

Areas of Expertise

  • Franco-German relations
  • French domestic and European policy
  • Migration and integration policy in France and Germany
  • Citizenship and identity debates in Europe


English, French


Email: demesmay@dgap.org

Claire Demesmay has been head of the DGAP’s Franco-German Relations Program since February 2009.

She was previously research assistant at the Study Committee for Franco-German Relations (Cerfa) at the Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri) in Paris (2002-2009) and taught French and Francophone studies at the Technical University Dresden (1998-2002).

She studied political philosophy in Dijon and at Paris 4 Sorbonne. She obtained a PhD within the framework of a French-German co-tutelle on “Political Liberalism and the Future of the Nation-State” at the University of Paris 4 Sorbonne and the Center for French Studies at the Technical University of Berlin.


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Selected Publications

What Germany Needs To Do Next...
On France and the EU
by Claire Demesmay, Jana Puglierin
Berlin Policy Journal, 5. September 2017
What Germany Needs To Do Next...
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.
Category: European Union, Germany
Foreign Policy and the Next German Government
Experts from the German Council on Foreign Relations offer case studies
by Josef Braml, Claire Demesmay, Dina Fakoussa, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Wilfried Jilge, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid, Stefan Meister, Christian Mölling, Jana Puglierin, Henning Riecke, Claudia Schmucker, Daniela Schwarzer, Svenja Sinjen, Sebastian Sons, Sarah Wohlfeld
DGAPkompakt 7, Summer 2017, 42 pp.
Foreign Policy and the Next German Government
A new German government will take office after the elections on September 24, 2017. DGAP experts outline in 12 separate areas the foreign policy goals Germany should pursue (and with which partners).
Category: International Policy/Relations, Germany
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.
Category: Nordkorea, France, Germany
Ode to (Some) Joy
by Claire Demesmay, Jana Puglierin
Berlin Policy Journal, July 2017
Both main German parties are keen to work with France’s new president. And whether it will be “Merkron” or “Schucron” pushing the EU forward, there is more common ground than disagreement.
France and Germany: Pairing up to Repair Europe
An interview with Claire Demesmay in Green European Journal
by Claire Demesmay
Green European Journal, June 29, 2017
France and Germany: Pairing up to Repair Europe
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?
Category: Nordkorea, European Union, France, Germany, Europe
Macron’s Election May Be Good News for Europe
but France’s Euroscepticism has not yet been put to rest
by Claire Demesmay, Julie Hamann
Published by International Politics and Society, May 8, 2017
Macron’s Election May Be Good News for Europe
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.
French Susceptibility to Russian Propaganda
"There are Always Two Sides to the Truth"
by Claire Demesmay
DGAPkompakt 4 (February 2016), 8 pp.
French Susceptibility to Russian Propaganda
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.
Category: Political Culture, France, Europe
After Paris
What 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).
After Paris
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.
Category: Security, France
The French Identity Crisis
Debate Intensifies after the Attacks
by Claire Demesmay
DGAPkompakt 8 (July 7, 2015), 6 pp. In English
The French Identity Crisis
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.
Category: Integration, France
Opening up the Franco-German Dialogue
How Trialogues Can Enhance European Integration
by Claire Demesmay, Hans Stark
DGAPanalyse 6 (June 2015), 53 pp.
Opening up the Franco-German Dialogue
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.”
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