As we reported a few weeks ago, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met last month in Aachen to sign a compact that I’ve been calling the Zweikaiserbund*.
The essay below by Robert Kearney about the treaty signed in Aachen was originally published at Compact News in a slightly different form.
The Franco-German Union, last step towards an EU Empire
By Robert Kearney
On January 22, 2019, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, signed a treaty of bilateral cooperation which pledged to unify both France and Germany in a way not dreamed of since the ninth-century reign of Charlemagne. A new Franco-German Empire of sorts (this was clearly the intent as evidenced by where the treaty signing took place, the town hall of Aachen, France, the city that had been the historic capital of the old Carolingian Empire), this new treaty was received warmly by various European and global elites. However, it raised concern among the more Eurosceptic nations such as those of Central Europe, Italy and even some in Britain (not to mention nationalist and anti-EU parties and citizens within France and Germany themselves). The great fear amongst many in Europe is that this agreement will lead to a unified Franco-German superstate that will further shift the balance of power in the EU away from sovereign nation states and toward a centralized bureaucracy ruled from Brussels with the economic and even military backing of Paris and Berlin.
This Franco-German treaty represents the culmination of years of attempts by the leadership of the European Union to move the bloc from a loose federation of nation states united by economic concerns into an actual centralized, supranational entity akin to a federal republic such as the United States or Germany wherein member states would lose much of the sovereignty they have still managed to maintain, giving it over to a system controlled by a handful of unelected elites who, when allied with corporations, multinational banks, and media systems, will have an almost unlimited control over the lives and freedoms of their member states. Whether this was or wasn’t the original endgame of the EU’s founders is something that can be open for debate. What is clear, however, is that this is precisely the trajectory that the modern European Union is, by its own admission, headed towards.
At first a union of European states was seen by many as not only a way to strengthen the continent’s economy through trade and free movement of goods, and people flowing across now almost nonexistent borders, but also as a “remedy” to the nationalistic impulses of its various member states. On the first premise the entire system was sold, many times very reluctantly, to the nations who joined its bloc, but the second concept was always very present and constituted a large reason why the entire project came about in the first place.
The biggest backers of a unified Europe were always the economic elites who desired the transformation of societies into atomized collections of individuals bereft of any strong national or ethnic ties, who would see themselves as only lone members of a great mass of humanity whose entire existence would be based on the endless consumption of cheaply manufactured consumer goods with little interest or concern for the fate of their wider communities and their descendants who would inhabit them.
This dream had already come to pass throughout the United States of America, the paradise of capitalist consumer culture where the individual and his immediate rights and needs trumped any concern for a lasting and established society based on a common culture, traditions and set of values. In stark contrast stood Europe, a continent of many cultures and subcultures, each having been in existence for centuries, all intertwined by a very collective spirit which emphasized the communal over the individual, tradition over the novel, and national life and values over every passing, mass-produced fad. True, this description of Europe may sound considerably idealized when compared to the lives of many, especially the more prosperous parts of that continent today, but it is still a strong part of the strength and ideal that have made up European man and his worldview for far longer than the present age that has been foisted upon us.