Events in Berlin: Germany and France Celebrate 50 Years of Friendship
Enlarge image During the ceremony in Oslo, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande acknowledged the praise for Franco-German reconciliation by Nobel Committee Chairman Jagland. (© picture alliance / dpa) This week is set to be one very much characterized by French-German solidarity, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty on January 22 1963. As part of the proceedings, the French government has been invited to Berlin along with the parliamentarians of the Assemblée nationale. On Monday evening German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande are to meet in the German Chancellery and will speak to students and young professional trainees.
Fifty years ago, Konrad Adenauer and then-French President Charles de Gaulle came together in Paris to sign the Franco-German “Treaty of Friendship.” That agreement paved the way for a lasting reconciliation between the two European powers and formed the basis for the modern bilateral relations between the two “hereditary enemies.”
Enlarge image Plenary chamber of the German Bundestag (© picture alliance / dpa) The highlight of the festivities is next Tuesday’s joint sitting of the German and French parliaments in the plenary assembly room of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament). The session is to be jointly presided over by the presidents of parliament from both nations, Norbert Lammert and Claude Bartolone. Merkel and Hollande are also scheduled to speak during the sitting, which is also set to involve the adoption of a common declaration on the future of Franco-German relations.
Tuesday will also see German President Joachim Gauck welcome President Hollande to Bellevue Palace with military honors. Furthermore, a meeting of the Franco-German council of ministers is scheduled, involving the German Bundesrat (upper house of parliament) and the French Sénat.
Enlarge image Schloss Bellevue in Berlin is the official residence of the Federal President. (© Bundesbildstelle; by Denzel) The German Bundestag will also play host to an extended leadership meeting with the participation from the respective presidents and vice-presidents of parliament, French and German parliamentary faction leaders and the chairpersons of the committees for foreign affairs and for the European Union.
An ongoing year of Franco-German festivities, in honor of the Élysée Treaty and featuring 200 events in Germany alone, is to be concluded with a 50th anniversary celebration of the Franco-German Youth Office in Paris in July.