Goldsborough, James O.
April 1976
Foreign Affairs;Apr1976, Vol. 54 Issue 3, p496
This article discusses the foreign relations between France and Germany as of April 1976. These two giants of continental Europe, whose gross national products make up over half the nine-nation European Community's total gross national product, came out of the 1963 war with the same hostility that had marked relations between them since Richelieu. If the differences between Paris, France and Bonn, Germany are narrowing, it is thus essential for the binary relationship that they continue to narrow, for otherwise Germany will grow too powerful for Europe. It was that reasoning that brought Britain into the Community, and the recovery of Britain will contribute to the cohesion of European leadership, not diminish it. Germany still is not mature enough politically to try everything alone. If France feels more comfortable having the Community behind her, the same is at least true for Germany. And each feels more comfortable being backed up by the other. The two nations are thus in the stage of testing the common ground they have discovered. So far it has been firm. Since personalities do play a strong role in the perception of national interests, the relationship at present is being molded by the two men in power Schmidt and Gisgard d'Estating. But there is evidence to indicate that when they are gone, the mold will be broken.


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