How the Franco-German axis still needs care and attention 60 years on

Press quote (The Sunday Times)
22 January 2023

Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, says [Franco-German relations] have not been so bad since 1998, when Gerhard Schröder, newly elected as German chancellor, ruffled French feathers by paying his first visit not to Paris to meet Jacques Chirac but to London, to see Tony Blair.

Part of the problem is undoubtedly personal. “Scholz and Macron have got very little in common, as far as I can see,” said Grant. “Scholz is very dour, very solid, doesn’t like talking much and is not flamboyant, while Macron is full of energy, loquacious, really brimming with ideas and very interested in the theatricality of European summits and politics in general. And they just don’t get on at all.”