France and Germany Announce Defense Partnership
The EU got some big news earlier this week when France and Germany said that they would work together in the future. The two countries have had differences in the past over defense issues. It looked like they were burying the hatchet. The announcement was made after a joint cabinet meeting was held in Paris. Emmanuel Macron is the president of France. He asked Chancellor Angela Merkel to support him to setup a €1bn fund. Macron said that these funds would be used to come up with a remedy for the economic problems that the EU was facing.
Germany and France agreed that they would build fighter jets together in the future. The manned and unmanned planes would replace the Eurofighter and Rafale jets that were manufactured by the two countries. The jets compete fiercely for sales on the global market. Merkel released a statement saying that they had shown they were willing to revive relations between the two countries with renewed vigor. She noted that this was encouraging since the new French government took power recently.
Both Macron and Merkel said that they would continue to support the Eurodrone program. The program aims to produce its first fleet of drones in three years. Macron stated that this kind of change could be likened to a revolution. He added that revolutions were welcome if they were deliberate, peaceful, and designed to last. Defense experts said that this was a show of retaliation in the wake of Brexit. A senior official in the German defense industry said that this was a sign that the EU was not interested in Britain’s stance on defense.
The declaration made by the two countries did not include any information on the role that Britain would have in the new development. Britain is the biggest spender on defense in the EU. It partners with Italy, Spain, and Germany in the Eurofighter project. Macron asked Germany to support a project to come up with nanotechnology and IT. Macron believes that this will help them to improve the Eurozone in the long run. He said that they were looking for projects that would bring researchers onboard. This is a part of the “Make our planet great again” initiative. Defense officials and analysts believe that the push to create a new fighter would prompt Britain to partner with the US. It could drive them to collaborate further on industrial and defense projects.
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