That's what Emmanuel Macron will try to do Thursday when he receives the Charlemagne Prize, awarded every year since 1950 "for work done in the service of European unification".
European leaders failed in their lobbying of the United States to retain the nuclear deal and have been equally unsuccessful in keeping him within the Paris climate accord to limit global warning.
But Macron urged Europeans to stand up against diktats from overseas.
This will be a rare day when he can forget that the Germany he envisioned working with is not the Germany he negotiates with on a day-to-day basis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled on Tuesday that she thought the chances were increasing of German carmakers building up battery production for electric cars in Europe. They then called on the USA to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA could remain intact, and to avoid taking action which may obstruct its full implementation by all other parties to the deal.
The German and French leaders have promised to agree a common roadmap for the future of the European Union by the time of a major summit in Brussels in June.
Commenting on President Macron's address to the European Parliament in April, Alexander Dobrint, of the Bavarian CSU, clearly objected to the idea of a Eurozone finance minister.
Numerous sanctions would affect German companies, even if the European Union did not itself impose sanctions, it said. "We proceed from the fact that all issues should be solved through dialogue", Lavrov said at a press conference, adding that Moscow had warned Israel to avoid "all actions that could be seen as provocative".
90 percent think France is a "trustworthy" partner for Germany. After all the talk about the need for a big public investment push for Europe, the budget plans for an actual decline in investment by 2022.
President Trump is undermining the certainty of a Euro-Atlantic community and is making the Franco-German leadership of Europe appear more necessary than ever before.
Speaking after Merkel, Macron said that "We should not be waiting, we must do something right now". "We made the choice to build peace in the Middle East".
On May 8, US President Donald Trump made the decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). She reiterated a concern from past year that, considering the threats "at Europe's doorstep", US protection is not implicitly reliable anymore.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani accused Trump of "psychological warfare" and said Iran could resume uranium enrichment "without limit" but that it would discuss its response with other parties to the deal before announcing a decision.