The Study Committee on Franco-German Relations (Cerfa) was founded by an intergovernmental treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic in 1954. It has analyzed relations between the two countries for over 60 years. The Cerfa engages in a wide range of activities. It promotes the Franco-German debate and policy-oriented research through conferences and seminars that bring together experts, policy-makers, decision-makers and civil society representatives of both countries.
The Cerfa publishes regularly books reflecting on the current state of Franco-German relations and two research note series – Notes du Cerfa and Visions franco-allemandes – that target primarily French decision-makers, with the aim of elucidating political, economic and social evolutions in contemporary Germany, and closely following current developments in Franco-German relations.
The Cerfa maintains close relations with the network of German foundations and think-tanks, including the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Genshagen Foundation, French-German Institute (DFI), and German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
Through its successive interactive and ad hoc cooperation programs, the Cerfa promotes the emergence of a new Franco-German generation:
- In the year 2021, the Cerfa started a Program on Multilateralism with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Paris. This program aims at creating a Franco-German network bringing together young professionals interested in the topic of multilateralism in the context of their work. It consists in working sessions based on briefings and workshops with selected experts and practitioners covering a broad range of issues relating to multilateralism, such as international trade, health, human rights and migration, non-proliferation and disarmament.
- The Franco-German Future Dialogue co-organized by the Cerfa together with the DGAP and with the support of the Bosch Foundation aimed at creating a new Franco-German generation by developing exchanges and debates between French and German young professionals and PhD students.
- The Daniel Vernet Group (formerly the Franco-German group of reflection) had been founded in the Fall of the year 2014 at the initiative of the Genshagen Foundation.
The German Industrial Power in Danger: The Double Shock of Energy Transition and Geopolitical Risk Notes du Cerfa, No. 170, July 2022
The German manufacturing industry at the heart of the German economic activity has been confronted in the past years with conjunctural shocks, which question its existence on the German territory: the energy transition which hinders it in the short term to resort to fossile energy from Germany...
Germany, despite the reluctance of its public opinion, is committed to supporting security in the Sahel, notably through its participation in the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) and recently in Niger, and in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in...
The French Strategy of the Saarland. A German Federal State on the Way to a Living European Multilingualism Notes du Cerfa, No. 168, March 2022
With the France Strategy, Saarland set out in 2014 to become an efficient multilingual German-French region within a generation.
The Paradigm Shift in German Security and Defence Policy After the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Allemagne d'aujourd'hui, No. 239, January-March 2022
The German government has long hesitated to take a position on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. It has refused to question the planned commissioning of Nord Stream 2 and to supply Ukraine with weapons.
The Weimar Triangle Three Decades After Its Foundation: Review and Prospects Allemagne d'aujourd'hui, No. 239, January-March 2022
When it was founded in August 1991, the Weimar Triangle was intended as a forum for trilateral consultations between the foreign ministers of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Poland on the future of Europe after the end of the Cold War.
A “New Era”? Toward a Realignment of German Foreign Policy after the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Briefings de l'Ifri, March 7, 2022
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s speech to the Bundestag on February 27, 2022, announced a new orientation in foreign policy and challenged the principles that had been the consensus in Germany for the past thirty years.
The Shock of Reality: The Traffic Light Coalition in the Russian-Ukrainian Crisis Notes du Cerfa, No. 167, February 2022
The Russian-Ukrainian crisis puts to the test the cohesion of the new traffic light coalition, the authority of Chancellor Scholz and the ambition to adapt the post-Merkel German foreign policy.
What Perspectives for Europe? The Political Parties in Germany and European Integration Allemagne d'aujourd'hui, No. 238, October-December 2021
The grand coalition’s record on European policy is mixed. On budgetary issues, the CDU-CSU and SPD were able to implement the agreements in the coalition agreement, but on fundamental reforms of the European Union, only small steps were taken.
What foreign policy for Germany after the end of the Merkel era? Allemagne d'aujourd'hui, No. 238, October-December 2021
One cannot help but wonder about Germany’s future foreign policy when one considers both the weight of the Federal Republic and the many crises we face internationally.
Toward a New European Security Order? Foreign Policy Shifts in Response to Russia’s War on Ukraine Ifri Conferences
Russia’s war on Ukraine has shaken the foundations of Western foreign policy and the multilateral rules-based order. Institutions built to preserve this order – like NATO, the G7, and the EU – have had to rethink their threat assessments and postures. France, Germany, Italy, and the UK have...
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz announced a “Zeitenwende” (turning point), whose main goal is to adapt the German foreign and security policy to the new geostrategic context.
What is the Liberal Agenda of the "Traffic Light" Coalition? Franco-German Perspectives Visioconférence
The end of Angela Merkel's term of office marks the beginning of a new political era in Germany. Known for its stability and the longevity of its leaders, German politics will now be dominated by three parties in a so-called "Traffic Light" coalition comprising the Social Democratic Party (SPD...
Europe in the Indopacific – Key challenges for a mutually beneficial partnership in the region Webinar
This conference is intended to discuss the paper “The Dilemma of Middle Powers – How AUKUS Has Reshaped the Potential for E3 Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific“ and to...
Toward a reshoring of industrial activities in Europe? A study of the Technical University of Munich (TUM München) underlines the global tendency toward a reshoring of activities in the country of origin or the nearshoring in countries lying in its vicinity which would...
Germany's September Parliamentary elections opened the way for coalition negotiations that may last until December. Yet first hints at directions and red lines in energy and climate policy can be identified as the country must prepare for an accelerated decarbonisation.
The Aftermath of the 2021 German Federal Election - Analysis of the Results and Implications for Europe Webinar, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Brussels - European Unionsucc
On September 26, 2021, German Federal Elections will be held, and mark the end of the Merkel era. The political equation is likely to be complicated because of the possible combinations and the difficulty for political parties to achieve a stable majority. Important choices are at stake for...
Strengthening Europe in the digital domain - Franco-German reflections on digital sovereignty Webinar
There is "no strategic autonomy without digital sovereignty", declared Charles Michel, President of the Council of the European Union in February 2021. In this logic, the European Commission calls for a more autonomous Europe in security-related areas such as digital policy and data...
Europe Needs an Africa policy – Defining French and German Stances on Africa Webinar, Institut français Bonn, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Büro Bonn
Online Seminar - French-German Workshop for the Future
As demonstrated by the current negotiations over the new European Africa strategy, 2020 is a milestone for the relationship between the two continents.
If the decision to replace the engine for the F-35A is implemented, countries flying F-35s will find themselves forced into unforeseen and overly complicated supply chains.
The first meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz occurred on Friday, December 10, 2021, in Paris. An important visit for both Germany and France and an opportunity to relaunch the Franco-German couple since Angela Merkel’s departure from the German...
The coalition deal struck between three parties that will form Germany’s next government is very much in line with France’s own ambitions and priorities, including its vision of a more federal EU.
While some argue that the next Franco-German power couple could be business as usual, there are some potential sticking points ahead.
Buoyant from its best election result in 10 years, Germany's liberal FDP party looks set to play a outsized role in coalition negotiations to form the next government.
After 16 years of Angela Merkel, Germany’s federal election will not only pave the way for a new government but also for a brand-new foreign policy. At least potentially.
Angela Merkel has governed Germany for 16 years and proven a reliable ally both in Europe and for the world. Will her party colleague hoping to succeed her follow in her footsteps or diverge from her path in order to forge his own legacy?
German Chancellor Merkel has met with French President Macron in what could be her final working visit to France. Some analysts say their cooperation should have produced more results.
The Franco-German relationship is more important than ever in order to deal with international crises and to develop a common European Foreign and Security Policy.