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FRANCE & GERMANY 22 Jan 2013 Neighbors celebrate 50 years of Élysée Treaty
On 22 Jan 1963 General Charles de Gaulle of France and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sealed the reconciliation of th

January 22, 2013 - NULL

FRANCE & GERMANY 22 Jan 2013 Neighbors celebrate 50 years of Élysée Treaty
On 22 Jan 1963 General Charles de Gaulle of France and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sealed the reconciliation of the two WWII combatants in Paris with the Elysée Treaty. Also called the Franco-German Friendship Treaty, its aim was to end a century of war and enmity between the two countries. The success of the pact will be celebrated on its 50th anniversary by the successors of the two men, President François Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Hundreds of anniversary events are planned. Periodic disagreements over issues

FRANCE & GERMANY 22 Jan 2013 Neighbors celebrate 50 years of Élysée Treaty
On 22 Jan 1963 General Charles de Gaulle of France and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sealed the reconciliation of the two WWII combatants in Paris with the Elysée Treaty. Also called the Franco-German Friendship Treaty, its aim was to end a century of war and enmity between the two countries. The success of the pact will be celebrated on its 50th anniversary by the successors of the two men, President François Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Hundreds of anniversary events are planned. Periodic disagreements over issues such as the Mediterranean Union in 2008 and, currently, the Continent's euro crisis have strained but not broken five decades of unprecedented cooperation.

The Treaty acted as a catalyst for Franco-German initiatives that have been the basis of European construction: the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty, the Euro, the Schengen area, and the construction of a European Security and Defence Policy.

It will be the second celebration of the friendship in four months: at Reims Cathedral on 22 Sep, Merkel and Hollande commemorated the 50th anniversary of the handshake of Adenauer and de Gaulle that paved the way for the 1963 treaty. Reims Cathedral, where the two leaders attended a special Mass, is where French kings were long crowned, and it was occupied by the Prussians in 1870. Germany signed its surrender to the Allies on 7 May 1945 in Reims.

In Jun 2008, German newspapers attributed the postponement from February to June of the regular Franco-German summit, a meeting that has a 50-year history, to tensions between Sarkozy and Merkel over his attempts to create a Mediterranean Union modeled on the European Union. Germany and other EU members opposed to bloc say it would weaken the European Union. Berlin argued that cooperation between the countries around the Mediterranean must take place within the framework of the existing European institutions.

In recent months the relationship has been under strain because of the Continent's euro crisis and the effort by Hollande, together with the leaders of Spain and Italy, to push the Germany chancellor toward a greater commitment to sharing the costs of European debt and promoting growth as opposed to austerity. (WRITTEN OCT 2012)

RELATED READING:

Political relations (France Diplomatie 27 Apr 2011)
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/germany/

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Date written/update: 2013-01-22