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60th Anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, Paris, 2023
Éric-André MARTIN, quoted by Lisa Louis in Deutsche Welle DW

Franco-German relations under pressure on Elysee Anniversary

As France and Germany celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, there's mounting pressure for the two countries to revamp their cooperation and leadership within the EU.


France and Germany on Sunday will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Franco-German Elysee Treaty, the document that set a roadmap for bilateral cooperation between Paris and Berlin in foreign, defense and cultural policies.

France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Olaf Scholz will give speeches at the prestigious Paris Sorbonne University with the presidents of both parliaments laying down a wreath at the Pantheon mausoleum.

In the afternoon, the heads of state and lawmakers from both countries will convene for a bilateral Cabinet meeting at the Elysee, the residence of the French president.

"The ceremony will underline how vibrant the Franco-German relationship is and that we are jointly moving forward in Europe," an Elysee spokeswoman told the press in the run-up to the meeting.

"We will discuss the big topics of our cooperation," she said, pointing towards defense, industrial policy, energy, EU reform, and immigration. "We made good use of the past few months to make progress in these areas."

Yet the events will be closely watched by the public and there is pressure on leaders to deliver some actual results, commentators say. 


Elysee Treaty 'works well'

Seidendorf said that behind the scenes, bilateral task forces were also bustling.

"That just shows that the Elysee Treaty works well — no other bilateral relationship is being so closely monitored by the public and has such an extensive, invisible infrastructure that can be activated in times of crisis," the political scientist said.

And yet, that extra effort was needed, believes Eric-Andre Martin, general secretary at the Study Committee on Franco-German Relations (Cerfa) at Paris-based think tank French Institute of International Relations (Ifri).

"People felt both countries had missed a chance when they didn't meet last year and observers now have high expectations regarding Sunday's meeting," he told DW. "France and Germany will need to agree on a common roadmap, for example in the areas of energy or economic policies, and very concrete projects."


>> See the article on The Deutsche Welle DW website.


60th anniversary of the Franco-German Elysee Treaty - January 22, 2023 Emmanuel Macron Franco-German Council of Ministers - January 22, 2023 Franco-German relations French-German cooperation Olaf Scholz France Germany