France and Bavaria have a longstanding close and solid partnership. However, the relationship between France and Bavaria is not only marked by a common history and by the structures created over the decades.
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.
Captain in the Storm: Challenges and Opportunities for the German EU Council Presidency Notes du Cerfa, No. 152, Ifri, July 2020
The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins on July 1, 2020 at a time of acute crisis. It is facing unprecedented challenges and organizational constraints in a context marked by high expectations from its European partners.
Breakthrough for Decentralized Franco-German cooperation? Perspectives after the Aachen Treaty Visions franco-allemandes, No. 30, Ifri, June 2020
The development of Franco-German cooperation can be described as an intergovernmental process. Depending on the perspective, the capacity for innovation of the relationship lies either with central decision-makers at the state level or with decentralized actors at the local level.
In search of a common spirit: the countries of the Weimar Triangle in the Covid-19 crisis Paper Series "Acting European? The European Union and the Weimar Triangle in the Coronavirus Crisis", No. 5, 2 June 2020
The coronavirus crisis has affected the countries of the Weimar Triangle to varying degrees. Bilateral relations between Germany and Poland as well as Germany and France have been strongly influenced by border closures, which have led to tensions between the countries.
While the coronavirus health crisis is currently intensifying in Europe, it does not seem to be affecting France and Germany at the same pace or with the same intensity. The crisis is putting both countries' respective hospital systems to the test in different ways. France and Germany's...
Alternative for Germany (AfD): An Extreme Right-Wing Party? Notes du Cerfa, No. 152, Ifri, March 2020
The AfD - Alternative for Germany - was founded in 2013 to protest the Euro rescue policy. Originally conservative-liberal, but to the right of the CDU/CSU, the party presented itself after 2015 as the main opponent to Angela Merkel's migration policy. It...
Europe is divided in many ways. Brexit and rising nationalism are striking examples of this existing fragmentation. But what unites us Europeans? The Franco-German Future Dialogue 2019 has met fellow Europeans in thirteen member states of the European Union to discuss questions of identity. Do...
The Right-wing Extremism in Germany. An Underestimated Threat? Notes du Cerfa, No. 151, Ifri, December 2019
In 2018, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified 24,100 people in Germany as right-wing extremists. More than one out of two right-wing extremists is described as “violence-oriented”. These figures demonstrate the high level of threat in the German...
The Aachen Treaty: The Promise of Convergence for a Divided Couple Politique étrangère, Vol. 84, No. 4, Winter 2019
The numerous commitments made in the Aachen Treaty concealed a wide range of disagreements over defense, the future of the European Union, economic policies, relations with Russia, and so on.
Historically, the Franco-German “couple” provided a justification for the European project, and for the Europe that emerged from the collapse of the bipolar order.
The 3rd of October is a national holiday celebrating German unity since 1990. What has the mass arrival of migrants these past years revealed about German society?
One year before the general elections and even if Angela Merkel remains a favourite, the political scene in Germany seems more fragmented than ever.
The party Alternative für Deutschland founded only three years ago against the Euro unites Germans against Berlin's open-door policy. And on the eve of new elections, more and more of those that normally don't vote are joining them.
Will Angela Merkel still be chancellor in a years' time? Hans Stark gives an overview over the German political landscape. According to him, the rise of the right wing populists and eurosceptics will continue, but won’t hinder the forming of a government coalition.
After the recent electoral setbacks for Angela Merkel which saw the party Alternative for Germany (AfD) enter yet another two regional parliaments (Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), is there a possiblity for Germany to become just like the other European countries?
The president of the European Commission about security, investment and assistance in Africa. According to Hans Stark, Jean-Claude Juncker didn't beat around the bush and instead of going too far in self-chastisement he tried to give hope to European citizens.
"Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations : Europe's nationalists welcome the "slap" for Merkel.
What can be said about German politics on the welcoming of refugees this past year? Is the integration process effective?
On Sunday Angela Merkel experienced yet another electoral setback in the regional elections. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the chancellor’s conservative party was overtaken by the AfD.