Franco-German Friendship Day (22 January 2021)
Today, 22 January 2021, is the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation and Integration. The treaty was signed on 22 January 2019 in Aachen by the President of the French Republic and the German Federal Chancellor, 56 years to the day after the Élysée Treaty, which marked France and Germany’s historic reconciliation, was signed by General de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Adenauer.
Against a backdrop marked by the global health crisis that has affected Europe since the spring of 2020, France and Germany have continued to solidly implement the Treaty of Aachen, fostering bilateral and European convergence for the benefit of our two countries’ citizens. The French-German Initiative for the European Recovery from the Coronavirus Crisis, proposed on 18 May 2020 by the President of the French Republic and the German Chancellor, marked a new historic step in the joint fight against the pandemic and in Franco-German cooperation for Europe. It produced its initial effects during the Germany presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union in the second semester of 2020.
The Treaty of Aachen enhances Franco-German cooperation to serve our fellow citizens and European convergence, and includes 15 concrete priority projects, among which:
- a Joint Citizens’ Fund that aims to financially support town twinning partnerships and citizens’ initiatives to bring civil society in the two countries closer;
- a cross-border cooperation committee responsible for offering solutions to the difficulties encountered in border areas;
- a Franco-German forum for the future tasked with supporting dialogue between stakeholders in our two countries on the transformational processes at work in our societies;
- Franco-German cultural institutes.
To find out more about the Treaty of Aachen and progress made in the 15 priority projects
The Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly
Alongside the signing of the Treaty of Aachen, a Franco-German parliamentary assembly was formed in March 2019. It is made up of 50 French deputies and 50 Bundestag members. It meets at least twice a year, alternately in France and Germany. Since 2020, it has held four extraordinary videoconferences due to the health crisis: on 28 May in the presence of both ministers of the interior; on 26 June in the presence of both finance ministers; on 21 and 22 September in the presence of the President of the ECB and both health ministers, and once again on this day, 22 January 2021, in the presence of the German Minister for Transport.
To find out more:
about the Franco-German bilateral relationship
about the Élysée Treaty
The German and French Embassies in South Africa work together to promote global health, to combat climate change through the Paris Agreements and to advance peace and justice. This is what German-French friendship stands for.
The Ambassadors and the Embassy teams met virtually on 22 January, to discuss the strengthening of their bilateral cooperation, as well as with South African and European partners.
Aurélien Lechevallier, French Ambassador to South Africa and Martin Schäfer, German Ambassador to South Africa, also wrote an op-ed published in the South African media: https://www.news24.com/news24/columnists/guestcolumn/opinion-france-and-germanys-ambassadors-on-friendship-solidarity-and-the-new-normal-20210122