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France and Germany launch anti-eurosceptic crusade

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (L) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Paris earlier this month
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (L) and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Paris earlier this month Reuters/Christian Hartmann

France and Germany are to work together to defend the European Union against a rising tide of euroscepticism, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced after meeting in Paris on Tuesday. The pair agreed that there should be tighter coordination of foreign policy between the two countries.

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With elections to the European parliament coming up in May and far-right and eurosceptic parties, like France's Front Naitonal, hoping to do well, the two ministers intend to make joint trips to other European nations to "explain the importance of the European Union to our fellow citizens".

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Steinmeier said they have decided on a first joint trip to Moldova and Georgia.

Last week French President François Hollande made a surprise announcement of plans for a Franco-German renewable energy joint venture, called for a European common defence policy and said he intended to relaunch the partnership between the European Union's two leading countries.

Paris and Berlin will also look to coordinate on crisis prevention, according to a joint statement.

Germany and France, however, do not always see eye to eye on foreign policy.

While Merkel's conservatives are largely sceptical of the virtues of Turkey joining the EU, France under the Socialist Hollande has been softening its stance towards Ankara.

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