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France vs Germany: What kind of Europe?

The recent speech by Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, in praise of European federation was attacked by Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the French minister. Here they debate the nature of European integration

By Ben Hall   August 2000

Preface:

The Europe debate has moved up a gear, driven by the changes required by EU enlargement and by Joschka Fischer’s now celebrated Berlin speech in May. To counter an enlarged EU’s inefficiency and lack of legitimacy, Fischer proposed a classic federal structure: a European parliament and government with real legislative and executive power, circumscribed by a constitution. Such proposals are not new-elements of it already exist. Fischer’s originality lies in the idea that a core group should forge ahead, leaving the rest behind. Eventually, they would abandon the gradual pooling of sovereignty for a once-and-for-all constitutional settlement, allocating powers…

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