Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius took part in a joint meeting of the two foreign ministries’ crisis response centres today (13 November). They agreed to cooperate closely to enhance security for citizens of both countries in severe crises and trouble spots abroad.
The two countries’ crisis response centres collaborated particularly closely in the hours and days following the crash of flight 4U 9525 in the French Alps on 24 March 2015, working to identify the passengers and keep their relatives informed and taken care of.
At the joint meeting , the two countries’ crisis management commissioners, Patrice Paoli of France and Walter Haßmann of Germany, presented the measures agreed to intensify cooperation on making provision for and dealing with times of acute crisis.
The plan is to pool the two countries’ provision to protect their citizens in times of crisis. From 2016, joint crisis‑provision trips will be conducted and the contingency plans of embassies and consulates will be more closely dovetailed.
The working ties already in place will be deepened by regular staff exchanges allowing personnel to compare methods and pool experience. The agreement also formalises joint meetings of the French and German crisis units.
Following the meeting, Foreign Minister Steinmeier will present a number of representatives of the emergency services, administration and municipalities with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of their work. He will then attend the football friendly between the French and Germany national teams. The spectators will also include around 1000 rescue workers from various organisations who were part of the rescue efforts after the plane crash on 24 March 2015.