On the occasion of today’s Cabinet decision (9 January) on the signing of the new Franco-German Treaty (Treaty of Aachen), Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement to RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland:
Fifty-six years ago, Germany and France drew the lessons from their bloody past by concluding the historic Élysée Treaty, setting out a major new course for their relationship. Thus, what for centuries had been regarded as a traditional enmity was able to develop into Franco-German friendship, and the confrontation that time and again led to wars which wreaked havoc on Europe became the engine of European integration.
With the new Franco-German Treaty we are now focusing on our common future. We are pooling our strengths to ensure our countries are well equipped to face future challenges in fields such as digitalisation, education and technology. We are creating the conditions for closer integration in the border regions, thus offering practical solutions to our citizens on issues such as day care for their children, health care and school education.
And we are joining forces to fight for a strong Europe, that is capable of taking action, a peaceful world and a rules-based international order.
At a time when populists once again propagate national egotism as the way forward, we also want to send a strong message that our cooperation does not result in a loss of sovereignty but rather makes us stronger.
Germany and France will thus not only remain committed to the success story that is European integration. We are also laying the foundations for the next generation to continue on this path.