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French-German relationship : L ’Amour is not

The French respect the Germans, but love is something else. One cannot speak of L’Amour in the German-French relationship. This is shown by a study by the research institute CSA, which was presented at the German embassy in Paris in the presence of Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut. The title of the study, for which 1303 French people over 18 years of age, 300 of them young people between 18 and 24 years of age, were asked, is groundbreaking: “France – Allemagne, un partenariat de raison?” (France – Germany, a partnership of reason? )

“The French are reserved about the Germans,” said Julie Gaillot from the CSA's research department. 83 percent of the French see Germany more positively, but the image is dominated by respect, sympathy, admiration and envy. If 52 percent of Germans think France is sympathetic, the reverse is true for only 29 percent of the French with regard to Germany. Young French people between the ages of 18 and 24 in particular see Germany more positively than French people of all ages. 40 percent of them want to learn German. Ambassador Meyer-Landrut emphasized: “The youth perspective is important. But we have to work with every generation in France. "

And what best represents Germany's image? Chancellor Angela Merkel is way ahead in first place with 27 percent. Directly behind with 16 percent is German rigidity and with 15 percent German power and solidity. For the French, on the other hand, the past of National Socialism is the past. In addition to Merkel, what counts about Germany is above all its ties to the EU.

Berlin also occupies a prominent position in the study. 15 percent of young French people talk spontaneously about the German capital without being asked about it. There is such a thing as the “Berlin dream” in France. In the general population, nine percent are fascinated by Berlin.

Germany arouses much admiration, especially its strong position as an economic power, which 80 percent of the French emphasize. 62 percent also see Germany as a strong political power. However, only twelve percent mention the cultural aspect in this context; among the young French there are more than twice as many at 26 percent.

The cool image of Germany is less popular in France

Overall, Germany has a cool image, shaped by the fact that 90 percent of the French consider the Germans to be hard-working and hard-working. This is apparently less popular in France. The CSA experts interpret this as a lack of lifestyle. After economy and industry, education and teaching are the trump cards in Germany.

The French don't like the fact that they consider Germany to be poorly equipped in the fight against terrorism; 40 percent see Germany as poorly prepared in this context. They would rather not trust Germany on security issues. The authors note that the attack in Berlin may have influenced the French. And the refugee issue is also on the table and here it is very clear that many French people are negative about immigration that is too large. Only 41 percent emphasized that the reception and reception of the refugees had a positive effect on their image of Germany. 48 percent see the German way of dealing with the refugee crisis as negative. "Germany is seen like its rich neighbor, whose generosity gets a little on your nerves," said Gaillot.

The French also find Germany's difficult language a handicap. Thirty percent of French say they speak a little German, but only three percent say they get along well with the language. And what about the Franco-German relationship? In the eyes of 41 percent of young French people, things are looking up, while 23 percent of the French as a whole are of the opinion. And 54 percent of the French as a whole have a positive image of the Franco-German friendship. It is a “solid couple”, say 84 percent and even 91 percent of young French people. But Germany is more of a partner than a friend, according to 58 percent of the French. "The feelings are positive, but not heartfelt," emphasized Gaillot. The French are a little distant from the Germans. However, this is also due to the fact that there is a complex vis-à-vis the economic power Germany.

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