In This Review

France-Germany in the 21st Century
France-Germany in the 21st Century
Edited by Patrick Mccarthy
Palgrave, 2001, 202 pp.

The authors here all agree that the Franco-German couple after German reunification is at best a marriage of convenience, marked by disagreement and misunderstanding. The volume offers a fine historical overview by McCarthy and is further enhanced by David Calleo's equally good analysis of the present and Roger Morgan's scrupulously fair study of the euro's birth. Nevertheless, the book throws little new light on the Franco-German story or its effects on the European Union; it suffers from too much recent past and too little future. A petulant piece by Michael Sturmer demonizes former French President Francois Mitterrand and expresses sharp skepticism about the two "unlikely" partners. On European security, most of what is written has been overtaken by events since mid-1998, when France and the United Kingdom (not Germany) took the initiative to create a European rapid reaction force. The contributors say little about the prospects of enlargement -- which will raise formidable issues of economic, diplomatic, and institutional coherence for the EU -- or the relationships among France, Germany, and the United States.