The rising tensions between France and Germany

France and Germany’s relationships are at the heart of the European project and are key to European stability, but the alliance is falling apart. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the change in the European Union’s center of influence towards “Central Europe”—Germany and its eastern neighbors—where, unlike Germany, France’s position have never been relatively impressive.  Both countries have disputes regarding the energy crisis prevailing in Europe and their defense policies. The two major areas of disagreement are energy and defense. Germany announced a major energy support package in late September worth 200 billion euros, which will cap gas and electricity until 2024. This doesn’t go well with the French president. He was irritated that Germany does not inform him in advance about ensuring European security.

As per French officials, the German package will create more economic division, with the government in Berlin potentially distorting competition within the bloc by subsidizing energy for businesses. In Paris and other European capitals that are concerned about the effect of the war on their own energy costs, Germany unilateral decision to spend up to 200 billion euros (or $195 billion) to subsidize skyrocketing gas prices has caused a stir. This also opposed an EU-wide energy cap and more joint EU borrowing to inhibit the pain of surging gas prices. Both Germans and French disagree on what sort of energy source should be used.