Back to the future? : Franco-German bilateralism in Europe's post-Brexit Union
Title: Back to the future? : Franco-German bilateralism in Europe's post-Brexit Union
Citation: Journal of European public policy, 2018, Vol. 25, No. 8, pp. 1174-1193
Series/Number: [Global Governance Programme]; [Europe in the World]
ISSN: 1350-1763; 1466-4429
What are the consequences and implications of Brexit on the nature and character of Franco-German ‘embedded bilateralism’ in Europe, the relative influence of Berlin and Paris in EU policymaking, and the EU's future trajectory more generally? Brexit brings into sharper relief three basic future scenarios for the EU: (1) German hegemony; (2) the decline of the European project; and (3) a rejuvenated Franco-German tandem at the union's centre – what we call ‘back to the future’. Which of these scenarios prevails will depend on the interaction of Brexit with other developments, most notably (1) the overall strengthening of Germany's relative standing, and (2) France's ability to overcome its economic and societal stasis with serious reforms. Though each of the three scenarios is possible, this paper holds that ‘back to the future’ is the most likely and plausible. Brexit thus might even further accentuate the historically influential Franco-German relationship, not least in union-level policy domains, such as security and defense, in which Britain has hitherto played a significant role.
Published online: 06 May 2018
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