By Xiatong Yang, MA in Geopolitics & International Relations at the University of Groningen
Charles de Gaulle, former French President, “le general”, and the physical embodiment of French resistance, was adamant that France shall not be subordinate to any nation vis-à-vis pursuing an independent French foreign, economic, and defense policy. Being a fervent subscriber of Gaullism, it is no surprise that President Emmanuel Macron seeks to imitate de Gaulle and to be the champion of French independence, albeit as the leader of the EU. In the aftermath of “Brexit”, France is arguably the only contender that can assume the mantle as the leader of an independent Europe. Although Germany has a larger economy than France, it is haunted by the legacy of World War II, its military development curtailed, and as a non-nuclear state and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is unable to provide a “nuclear umbrella” to its allies.
*This research paper was written during the author’s internship at KEDISA (1 February-31 May 2023)