In his speech to the European Parliament, the Chancellor did not mention French President Macron. But before a crucial passage in which Scholz turned against the "dream of a European world power" and against "national great power fantasies", he quoted a French writer.

This can probably be understood as a small reading aid for Paris, because what the Chancellor presented in Strasbourg is a rather different idea of world politics as a whole and of Europe's role in it. Scholz explicitly disagreed with the idea that the world can be divided bipolarly or tripolarly. The former is a figure of thought cultivated in Washington and Beijing; The latter is Macron's concept for a new, this time global, concert of powers.

America's Security Promise

Instead, the Chancellor pleaded for a Europe that does not seek its place above or below other countries, but strives for partnerships "on an equal footing" with other states, especially in Asia, South America and Africa – and, of course, continues to regard the United States as its "most important ally".

This, too, can be understood as a demarcation from Macron's talk of the third pole and a supposed vassalage of Europe. All in all, Scholz presented the MEPs with a classic German worldview that relies on (economic) cooperation and America's promise of security.

This reflects the experiences and preferences of a nation whose prosperity was created in exports and which cannot defend itself against Russia. There are good reasons to doubt whether it is really the better recipe for the future of Europe. The keywords are Trumpism and deglobalization. But since Macron has no convincing answers to these obvious problems either, only one thing is certain for the time being: Germany and France are not drawing the same conclusions from the turning point.