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TOPIC: franco german relations


"It's Complicated" — How The Franco-German Power Couple Preps For A Europe Of 35

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and her German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock have issued a strong and united call on Beijing to pressure Russia to end its war in Ukraine. It is a reminder of the potential of European power. But the "European Project" is as loaded as ever.


PARIS — The political relationship between France and Germany has had its ups and downs. Just a few months ago, the tide was low and there was tension between the two countries. But now, the Franco-German relationship is very much back on track, marked by Wednesday's appearance by the head of German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, as an invited guest at the table of the French Council of Ministers at the Élysée Palace in Paris — as if she were a French cabinet minister.

It's a strong sign of the intimacy that binds the two countries. Though it is little known, there are French diplomats at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Germans at the Quai d'Orsay foreign ministry, integrated into the teams like nationals, who have access to the same information as their colleagues.

Baerbock referred to France as Germany's "best friend" and displayed her strong relationship with her counterpart Catherine Colonna.

At the moment, there is also a clear interest from Paris and Berlin to consult and come to an agreement in a Europe shaken by the war in Ukraine and other new dynamics around the world. The two main European economies want to drive the agenda rather than being subject to it.

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Ukraine Is The Ultimate Test Of The Franco-German Alliance

If symbols were sufficient to govern international relations, France and Germany would be in total and absolute agreement today. But much more than that is needed, especially with a full-fledged war burning just to the east.


PARIS — The Élysée treaty, which sealed post-war reconciliation between France and Germany, celebrated its 60th anniversary on Jan. 22, symbolizing six decades of friendship between the two old enemies.

Symbols are not enough, but they are important. Generations after post-war German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed the treaty, the gesture — made while the legacy of the war was still fresh — remains meaningful.

To say that the construction of Europe has brought lasting peace to the continent had become a time-worn cliché. But the war unleashed by Russia has given new meaning to this old story.

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