As the EU struggles with the ongoing euro crisis, the attitude of the "big three" will crucially influence the future scope and direction of its role in international relations.
Redefining relations with China will require economic coordination with Europe, as France opens to Chinese investment while demanding more regulation and transparency from Beijing.
The EU acts as a bloc with all 27 member states discussing issues and unanimously making decisions, but behind the scenes lies a tacit agreement that the Big Three, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, take the lead on foreign policy.
With the Greek election handing power to a pro-bailout party and EU leaders agreeing to directly extend 100 billion euros in bailout funds to Spanish banks, the eurozone has been granted some much needed respite. But a solution to the crisis remains elusive.
Now that François Hollande is the new president of France, the “campaign-to-power” is over. But the socialist candidate's campaign will now have to be reconciled with the power of the presidency.
Neither candidate in France's presidential election has addressed the growth and competitiveness issues underlying the country's economic problems. But failing to grapple with them could be ominous for the entire eurozone.
Over the past year, as it became clear that the euro crisis would not be overcome without Berlin and Paris agreeing to huge rescue operations, the relationship between the leaders of France and Germany has grown increasingly important.
For those who like politics to be a substantive debate of real issues rather than noise and maneuvering, the French presidential election campaign has been a dull one indeed.
As most of Europe waits with bated breath for the outcome of the French presidential election, Ukrainians are entirely ignoring it.
Since General Charles de Gaulle, French politicians have promoted a stronger political union in Europe associated with robust European foreign and defense policy, what is known as “L’Europe de la defense”.