KYIV – Since World War II’s end, France has consistently risen to the challenge of restructuring Europe in times of crisis. In doing so, France became the catalyst not only for building European unity, but also for creating the prosperity that marked Europe’s post-war decades – a prosperity now under threat because of the global financial and economic crisis. If we are to see a stronger Europe emerge from today’s challenges, visionary French leadership is needed again.
The first moment when decisive French leadership began to unify Europe came when Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer created the European Coal and Steel Community. By rooting the then West Germany in the political, economic, and social fabric of the West, that step heralded the start of Germany’s rebirth and economic miracle.