After the Covid crisis, the war in Ukraine and the unfolding energy crisis are putting the economy of the European Union (EU) in serious difficulty once again. With high inflation rates, gas supply disruptions and the expectation that the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to further increase interest rates, the risk of Europe falling into recession is real. Against this backdrop, the most immediate challenge is to tackle the energy crisis. There will, however, be other important items on the EU’s winter economic agenda. All of these issues will put the EU’s unity to the test. They will require Member States – and, above all, France and Germany – to overcome their divisions and work together to build political compromises.
This paper resulted from a workshop at the final conference of the 10th Genshagen Forum for Franco-German Dialogue with the topic »Driving force in a watershed moment: France and Germany in a changing Europe«. The Genshagen Forum for French-German Dialogue has been organized since 2010. Considering the numerous challenges that Europe is facing, Germany and France must take responsibility regarding the future of the EU and join forces for the development of shared strategies. The Genshagen Forum actively encourages this process by promoting a results-oriented dialogue between mid-career leaders from both countries.