French-German military cooperation: the spearhead of European armed forces ?

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The article deals with the main characteristics, problems and perspectives of French-German military cooperation within a European framework. It first retraces collaboration between French and German armed forces from its origins in the early 1960s until today and gives a detailed description of the institutions and various exchange programs established between the two countries in order to develop and intensify a common political understanding in military affairs. The authors, drawing on the results of a research project based on interviews with various protagonists of French-German cooperation in France and Germany, then discuss the essential features of this collaboration as it can be observed in daily practice. The article ends with a critical view of French-German efforts to push on European integration in military affairs.