by Daniela Schwarzer
The reporting – at least in the German press – raised the impression that Monday’s dinner in Hanover between the German chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy lead to new peace and love in the German-French couple which has demostrated its very deep divisions recently. How credible is this news?
First of all, contrary to some media’s reporting, it is unlikely, that all disputes over the Mediterranean Union (MU) have been buried over dinner. Given the fierce and public dispute between both sides over fundamental strategic and structural decisions of the new Mediterranean policy France wants to launch, it is simply not credible to assume that the French side totally surrendered to German requests to make the initiative more or less simply a re-launch of the Barcelona process (i.e. the current EU Mediterranean policy within the EU framework).