The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation and the International Alliance of Military for Peace in Security have become reliable partners of the German "ASKO Europa-Foundation", especially for the organisation of the yearly meeting in the framework of the "Franco-German Dialogue".
Inga Wachsmann, project manager of this event since a couple of years has even moved to the motherhouse of CLM/FPH situated in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris.
This year again, numbers of networkers, headed by it’s new director general Matthieu Calame, bolstered up the FPH-delegation during 12th edition of the Dialogue.
We take the opportunity of this Letter of the Month of Mai to present our members the ASKO-Europa-Foundation and - more secifically - the most important results of this year’s meeting.
"Acting in times of crisis – civil society, the State, Europe" – the theme of the 2010 Franco-German Dialogue, which took place at the European Academy of Otzenhausen (EAO) on May 6 and 7, 2010, could not have been more topical.
In the very week when decisions were made on the multi-billion aid for Greece and for stabilising the Euro, the debates at the EAO focused on the worldwide financial and economic crisis and took stock of the situation: What were the causes of the crisis? How has the unfolding crisis on the financial markets been influencing the real economy? And above all: Why are member States of the Eurozone now suddenly drawn into the maelstrom of global financial speculation?
Economist Joachim Starbatty’s answer to these questions illustrated the extent to which the political pressure to act has been growing within the European Union. The (supposed) overcoming of the financial crisis involves the transfer of financial risks from the private to the public sector. In his opinion this transfer implied a direct threat to the concerned States and economies. Over the long term Joachim Starbatty considered it as inacceptable that politics could not avoid having its decisions dictated by the players of the global financial markets. In this context the participants called for breaking the logic of the system of global financial speculation in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
Why are political decision-makers in Europe, above all German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, so dilatory in regulating the banking and finance sector, which had been announced again and again? Or more generally: Do the political decision-makers still keep control of the situation? The answers to these questions were varied: Participants referred to the integration of Germany, France and the entire EU into the political and economic globalization processes, which requires the coordination with the other important players of international politics in order to surmount the crisis. Others sounded a critical note by pointing out that the majority of voters in France and Germany had brought political forces to power, which obviously find it hard to implement far-reaching changes of systems. However, this might change soon. Since the introduction of the Euro and the foundation of the European Central Bank (ECB) the French have regularly been calling for a European economic government. Their demand is re-gaining relevance – not only at the working groups of the Franco-German Dialogue. As a result of history ideas and wishful thinking as to economic and financial policies vary in France and Germany. They were analysed in this context, and so was the sometimes very critical perception of each other in the two countries.
Whereas the French public opinion considers Germany as arrogant and too hesitating with a view to the Greek crisis, France is suspected to jeopardize the independence of the ECB and the stability of the Euro all too easily. Particularly in view of all these national sensitivities, coordinated action not only of France and Germany, but of all EU member States (and beyond them) is regarded as essential – one of the most important conclusions of the exciting and highly topical discussions.
A detailed discussion report, including summaries and contributions from all panel discussions and working groups of the 2010 Franco-German Dialogue, will be published in next autumn.