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European revival, a Franco-German responsibility

Having reached an exceptional degree of stability and prosperity, because of their shared sovereignty, Europeans now hesitate to go further. The financial crises have come and gone, geopolitical upheaval also. Now fundamental questions are being raised about the efficacy of European integration, which faces doubts about identity. And the three main challenges worldwide launched against well established democracies are also haunting the States of Europe: security, immigration, democratic governance.

And yet necessity knows no law. We cannot imagine Europe continuing to entrust its defence to others. None of its States would be in a position to establish a credible, effective immigration policy on its own. We know that to guarantee the smooth functioning of the euro zone long term means establishing greater solidarity between the zone's members. And so we have to move forward in these areas and recover popular support that is sadly lacking.

Beyond words and principles, real solutions to specific problems have to be found. To do this France and Germany have resumed their privileged dialogue. Revival depends on them because they were the initiators and it was for them, and because their former rivalry triggered chaos that the Community was founded; our partners would be well advised not to forget this, in the absence of any other proposals. And yet of course, their "entente" cannot be exclusive; it is just a first step.

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have therefore taken the only path that will lead to the vital revival of Europe: defining goals, laying out objectives on a roadmap, before looking into the means and ways, since the endemic error of traditional international organisations is to do the opposite. Joint defence and security policy, common immigration policy, financial solidarity, tax harmonisation, defence of the rule of law, should lead to decisions that will involve both of these countries before the summer.

It will be by setting examples that the European Union will move forward. There is nothing to fear in this and all Europeans should benefit from it.