En Portada visits the invisible border between Germany and France
Whoever wins the elections in Germany will strengthen the Paris-Berlin axis
During centuries, the oscillating border between France and Germany has spawned an important number of personal stories, both of union and division. En Portada has searched for those testimonies travelling around this border, invisible today, to try to better understand the spirit of the so called Franco-German axis. Whatever happens during the elections on September 24th in Germany it will become stronger.
Leidingen in the heart of the piece, it is a village in two countries. Leidingen is a little village divided by the border, where live together around 30 French and 180 Germans. Their inhabitants do not want to hear about borders or steps back… they just want more Europe.
We dive its history in the cemetery of Sarrenbrücken where there are graves of the three wars that set the two countries against. Or the fortification of the Maginot Line, built by the French to defend from the Germans after WWI. The German city of Kehl and its neighbor city of Strasbourg, separated by the Rhine River, once a symbol of dispute and today an example of cross-border cooperation.
2017 started with dark clouds for the European Union. Opinion polls forecasted a rise and probable win of extreme right parties in Dutch and French elections. This would have led to a setback of European integration. Together with Brexit it would have meant the death certificate of the EU.
Nothing like that has happened. The victory of Emmanuel Macron in France has meant a new momentum for the EU. Another impetus for the Franco-German axis is expected after the coming German elections.