The signing of the Élysée Treaty on 22 January 1963 marked a profound and historic change in the relationship between France and Germany. Its 50th anniversary is therefore being celebrated by French and Germans worldwide with a Franco-German year.
Events taking place in New York City include the showing of the exhibition “Germany and France—Half a Century of Friendship and Cooperation” at the German Consulate General opening on February 7, 2013. A number of other events will also take place throughout the year.
Franco-German partnership is one of the cornerstones of the European Union. It formed the basis of European post-war reconciliation and reconstruction, which culminated in the formation of the integrated continent we know today. The Treaty not only laid the foundation for a lasting and trusting bilateral partnership, but it has also been the engine for a peaceful and prosperous European Union. This was honored by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, stating that “The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”
At the outset of the 21st century, France and Germany as partners face the continuous task of adapting Europe further to changing international challenges and opportunities, like energy crises and climate change, new security threats and threats to financial stability, globalization and new technologies.
Fifty years after President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer wrote the first chapter of an unprecedented success story of reconciliation, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande have inaugurated the “Franco-German Year”, a year of celebration of Franco-German friendship.
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Source: Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Press Release