La Belle Epoque is Bordeaux-based professor Stephan Marten’s favourite restaurant. A lecturer at Bordeaux University, he is also a well-versed expert in Franco-German relations and in his spare time a fanatical chess player, like his colleague Martin Koopman, who is Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations – a Berlin-based think-tank. The Franco-German relationship, normally seen as the driving force of European integration, has been stalling for a while now. Euronews has brought the two specialists together in the exotic surroundings of the restaurant, with its Turkish tiles dating from 1870, and with the help of an excellent wine, to work out why Franco-German relations have run aground, and, in the interests of the European Union, how they can be refloated.
Chewing over the future of Franco-German relations