Publications Éditoriaux de l'Ifri

Coronavirus: Franco-German solidarity put to the test Editoriaux de l'Ifri, April 2020

While the coronavirus health crisis is currently intensifying in Europe, it does not seem to be affecting France and Germany at the same pace or with the same intensity. The crisis is putting both countries' respective hospital systems to the test in different ways.  France and Germany's economies are being mobilized, and social cohesion is enhanced. The crisis also impacting Franco-German and European solidarity.  

German local authorities' initiative to admit about a hundred French patients to their hospitals is demonstrating solidarity in the context of the coronavirus epidemic. It also reflects all the efforts made by public decision-makers to overcome the “border effect” in border regions and to convey the strength of a common European identity.

However, could this much covered initiative hide a deeper political disagreement between the French and German governments? Despite recent progress, political decisions concerning a relaunch of the European economy after the health crisis are expected in the coming weeks by German and French public opinion.

Paul Maurice is a Research Fellow at the Study Committee on Franco-German Relations (Cerfa) at the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri).


This publication is available in French: Coronavirus : la solidarité franco-allemande à l’épreuve (pdf)


Angela Merkel Coronavirus COVID-19 European Union (EU) French-German cooperation German european policy Europe France Germany