The French Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense has approved the treaty signed with Germany but calls for concrete progress on the "export" aspect of defense.
The symbolic reaffirmation of the Franco-German friendship was welcomed by Senators in a context marked by Brexit and the rise of rivalries between powers. "The time is right to give a successor to the Treaty of the Elysee in 1963," said the chairman of the commission, Christian Cambon (Republicans - Val de Marne). "The Franco-German friendship is the great success of the post-war period, but also the foundation of the long-term future of the European Union".
A week after the Paris Air Show, however, senators did not hide their concern over a key aspect of the treaty: cooperation on defense programs, the key to European strategic independence.
Beyond the will to move forward manifested by the text of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), many uncertainties weigh on joint projects: aircraft of the future SCAF program, MALE drone, MGCS heavy tank.
"We sometimes wonder if the will to move forward is really shared by all the actors on the other bank of the Rhine, "questions Christian Cambon. "We cannot want to make a European fighter and at the same time do everything to make it impossible to export -- it's a matter of consistency!"
The chairman of the committee also regretted that, on the French side, the discussion of the treaty was done in a vacuum, whereas this text is supposed to promote the friendship between the peoples and the exchanges between the civil societies: "It is necessary to change methods: citizens do not want to stay away from these big issues," said Christian Cambon.
The text will be considered at the Senate’s sitting on July 3 at 2:30 pm