Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Michael Link was in Antibes today (16 March) with Jean Leonetti, France’s Minister responsible for European Affairs, to prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty to be celebrated on 22 January 2013.
In their capacity as Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation, Link and Leonetti had been mandated by the 14th Franco-German Council of Ministers on 6 February 2012 to prepare a Franco-German Year for the run up to the anniversary.
There will be a large number of events taking place between September 2012 and July 2013 with the involvement of civil society in both countries, especially young people.
The following three occasions are being billed as particular highlights of the Franco-German Year:
- Ludwigsburg, 22 September 2012: Marking the 50th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s speech to the young people of Germany as a symbol of his personal rapprochement with Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
- Berlin, 22 January 2013: Celebrating the signing of the Élysée Treaty, which laid the foundations of Franco-German cooperation
- Paris, 5 July 2013: Commemorating the establishment fifty years ago of the Franco-German Youth Office, one of the major achievements of the Élysée Treaty
The Commissioners for Franco-German Cooperation will play an active role in these events.
During their talks, Minister of State Link and European Affairs Minister Leonetti decided that the Franco-German Year should be created with the involvement of government, local authorities and civil society from both countries. The intention is to demonstrate the wealth and depth of the unique relationship which Germany and France enjoy. Numerous institutions and associations concerned with Franco-German dialogue have already started getting projects ready for the jubilee year.
Minister of State Link and European Affairs Minister Leonetti particularly support the Franco-German Youth Office’s initiative to set up a regular Franco-German Youth Parliament, as agreed in the Franco-German Agenda 2020.
The jubilee celebrations are meant as an opportunity not only to remember the past but also to encourage young people and civil society in France and Germany to look to the future.
The friendship that Germany and France share is one which benefits Europe. It was always aimed at advancing European unification. It is hoped that the anniversary celebrations will spur on France and Germany’s young people to work for yet more European integration and an ever closer friendship between our two countries.
The French city of Reims is also organizing a July 2012 event to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer meeting there on 8 July 1962 in a gesture of reconciliation.