Campaigning together for a strong Europe: Foreign Minister Maas to travel to France  France

Foreign Minister Maas meets his French counterpart Jean‑Yves Le Drian.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian (16 October 2018), © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

16.10.2018 - Article

When Foreign Minister Maas visits Paris and Poitiers, the focus will be on how Germany and France can cooperate even more closely in Europe and the world.

On 16 October, As well as the further deepening of bilateral relations, the focus will be on Franco-German cooperation in multilateral fora and on European policy issues. Germany and France advocate an orderly Brexit. Bearing in mind the EU’s common foreign and security policy and Germany’s seat on the United Nations Security Council from January 2019, the two countries want to coordinate even more closely. The signing of a new Franco-German Treaty of Friendship is planned for 2019 to further develop and renew the 1963 Elysée Treaty.

Citizens forum on Europe

The two Foreign Ministers are to travel together from Paris to Poitiers in the west of the country. There, they will meet local and regional representatives. Thereafter, the two ministers will take part in a citizens forum on Europe at Poitiers University where they will talk to French citizens about Europe’s values and future.

Working together, rejecting violence

Foreign Minister Maas and his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian
Foreign Minister Maas and his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

In Paris, Foreign Minister Maas will present Daniel Nivel, a member of the French riot police, with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1998, Nivel was beaten up by German hooligans after Germany’s World Cup match against Yugoslavia in the French city of Lens. He was very seriously injured and the repercussions of the attack remain with him to this day. He is now being honoured for his tireless contribution to reconciliation and friendship between football fans.

At the end of the visit, Maas and Le Drian will attend a football match with France playing Germany in the Stade de France. This stadium was one of the locations targeted in the Paris terrorist attacks on 13 November 2015. Former German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and former French President François Hollande were amongst the spectators. To remember the victims but also in anticipation of Euro 2024 in Germany, Maas and Le Drian want to send a clear signal: Rivals on the pitch, friends everywhere else for #EuropeUnited.


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