Is the Franco-German Relationship Still as Critical Today in Shaping the Integration Process in an Eu of 27 Member States as It Was in a Community of Six After World War Ii?

Is the Franco-German relationship still as critical today in shaping the integration process in an EU of 27 member states as it was in a community of six after world war II?

The growth and enlargement of the European community from its initial 6 members to the fully fledged European Union (EU) of 27 member states we see today has   not been a stagnant process. Instead the evolution of the EU as a political system and community has been achieved through a series of complex and dynamic developments framed by successive treaties and reforms beginning with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1952 and seen most recently through the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. The evolved and developed organisational structure and institutions of the EU are both uncharted and unprecedented and its development is inarguably admirable. However in praising the EU's development as a pioneering political system it is important not to forget or diminish the initial aims of its development. At the very root of the EU's initial development was a desire by European leaders to frame a system of everlasting peace within Europe and 'to end the state of war between nations', (Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, 2006:2) best understood in the context of the atrocities of World War II. Never before had Europe witnessed such internal destruction as seen during WWII; and at the crux of this post-war dilemma was the divergent aims of France and Germany.
Whereas France sought to ensure they could not be infringed upon again by their German counterparts, Germany sought to achieve political rehabilitation (Ball, 1991:xii) The twos conflict although at odds laid the foundations for future reconciliation. This paradigm inevitably leads to the question then, of whether the turbulent Franco-German relationship endured at the onset of the European integration is still as critical and decisive today in an enlarged EU as it was in its early formation. This essay is therefore an analysis and appraisal of