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France and Germany Deepen Ties to Fight Eurosceptic Nationalism

France and Germany, the old foes of Europe, are friends once again. The leaders of the two nations met on Tuesday to strengthen the 1963 treaty of post-war reconciliation. It clearly portrayed their aim to showcase that Eurosceptic nationalism cannot spread its roots in all directions.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French President, Emmanuel Macron signed the extension of the contract, in the city of Aachen.

“We want to give an impulse to European unity,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday.

She welcomed the French president at the city hall to sign the revised treaty, as people gathered outside with blue and yellow EU balloons.

The new contract, as per the reports, stipulates that it will be an utmost priority of German-French diplomacy for Germany to be accepted as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The treaty also commits to promote economic and security cooperation, including the aim of a “German-French economic area with common rules” and a “common military culture” that Merkel said could “contribute to the creation of a European army.” Nonetheless, it will still keep the two nations committed to the EU and NATO’s defense alliance.

The agreement was majorly criticized by domestic far-right opponents in France and Germany, who called the move as a ‘compromise of national sovereignty’. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s national rally, accused Macron of “an act that borders on treason”, while Alexander Gauland of Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) said Paris and Berlin were trying to create a “super EU” within the bloc.

“As populists, we insist that one first takes care of one’s own country,” he said. “We don’t want Macron to renovate his country with German money … The EU is deeply divided. A special Franco-German relationship will alienate us even further.”

Macron became in charge of his power in May 2017 and pledged to win Merkel’s support for the major EU reform, in order to reassure confidence in the European project. However, he failed drastically because of the poor election results that impacted Merkel. The German Chancellor, following which, announced that she would step down from her rank in 2021.

Europe, in recent years, has witnessed a lot of conundrum, majorly contributed by the far-right and left political movements that oppose the norms of democracy. Leaders like, Matteo Salvini, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, and Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, have spawned on the messages that oppose immigration, besides other ideas that contradict democracy, in their ode to tighten grip on the continent and change it inside-out.

Therefore, the latest contract is a threat to people like them who wish to split the continent, rather than make it beat as one.

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