While the polls don’t suggest we are teetering on the edge of a European abyss, in this French presidential election, anything is possible. That’s precisely what makes it both alarming and potentially historical. It’s also the reason that why it doesn’t make sense to forge a Plan B in case Marine Le Pen gets elected. But a Plan A in case of a victory for Emmanuel Macron or Francois Fillon is an absolute must.
In short: Germany needs to launch a Franco-German initiative immediately after the French presidential election, and before parliamentary elections in Germany. We cannot wait until the start of 2018.
With the scourge of nationalism paralyzing the EU, the German election campaign should be focused on what’s really important. Geopolitically, this means Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Syria and Donald Trump. We must do everything we can to move Europe forward again, and a Franco-German initiative – based around a comprehensive new security policy and a practical new agreement over economic policy – should lead the way.