The various crises the European Union has undergone in recent years (economic, institutional, monetary etc.) and the way the member states have reacted to them at the national and the community level, have reconfigured the balance between the various countries. Among these countries, three “major players” are worthy of particular attention on account of their demographic, economic and diplomatic impact within this regional ensemble. These are the UK, Germany and France.
Jean-François Drevet describes the positioning of these three countries within the Union and their mid- to long-term perspectives. Confronted with a United Kingdom that feels vindicated in its minimalist European position, somewhere between “wait-and-see” and Euroscepticism, and continues in the footsteps of the American elder brother, the Franco-German Couple, its centre of gravity now shifted towards Berlin, is finding it hard to mount the effort for regional integration that would enable the Union to regain both economic and diplomatic momentum. A re-balancing would be salutary, but is France able to transcend its inter-governmental vision of the European edifice and make the innovations required to strengthen the Union that are probably the only alternative to decline?