Paris, Jan 22 (IECurrentAffairs) French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will sign on Tuesday in the German city of Aachen a new bilateral agreement on boosting the bilateral foreign policy, economic, defense and security, culture, education and climate cooperation.
Among other things, the document outlines the negotiations on the reform of the UN Security Council and French support for the German candidacy for permanent membership in the body.
The new agreement will be based on the foundations of the 1963 Elysee Treaty, which made a great contribution to the historic reconciliation between France and Germany.
The Elysee Treaty was signed on January 22, 1963, in Paris by then-French President Charles de Gaulle and then-German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The document obliged the authorities of both countries to hold regular consultations on key foreign policy and security issues, as well as youth and cultural policy.
In 1988, then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and then-French President Francois Mitterrand established defense and security councils, as well as councils on economic, financial and monetary policies in addition to the Elysee Treaty.
The goal of the new treaty, which Merkel and Macron will sign on Tuesday in Aachen, is to bring the two countries closer to each other and prepare them for the challenges they are facing in the 21st century.
The treaty, whose text was distributed by the Elysee Palace’s press service, consists of 13 pages and contains seven chapters and 28 articles.
DEFENSE, SECURITY COOPERATION
According to the document, France and Germany intend to strengthen cooperation on the common European politics.
“They [the countries] act in the interests of an effective and strong common foreign and security policy, strengthening and deepening the economic and monetary union. They want to complete establishment of a single market and create a competitive union based on strong industrial capacities,” the document states.
The treaty refers to the boost of foreign policy, defense, foreign and internal security cooperation.
“They consult with each other to identify common positions on any important decision affecting their common interests, and act together in all situations, whenever possible,” the agreement says.
The two countries commit themselves to strengthening bilateral cooperation between the countries’ armed forces.
“They are intensifying development of common defense programs and expanding them to the partners. Thus, they intend to promote competitiveness and consolidation of the industrial and technological base of the European defense … Both states will develop a common approach to arms exports regarding joint projects,” the document reads.
In addition, the agreement envisages boost of the bilateral cooperation on combating terrorism and organized crime, as well as on legal issues, intelligence and policing.
France and Germany commit themselves to establish a closer partnership between Europe and Africa, strengthen private sector development, regional integration, education and training, gender equality cooperation to improve social and economic prospects, prevent conflicts and settle crises.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
The treaty includes a provision on the French-German close cooperation in all UN bodies.
“They will work together to promote the European Union’s positions and commitments in front of the global challenges and threats to the United Nations. They will do everything possible to achieve a common European Union’s position in the relevant UN bodies,” the treaty says.
Both countries also intend to continue their efforts to complete intergovernmental negotiations on the reform of the UN Security Council.
“Germany’s acceptance as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy,” the document says.
CULTURE, EDUCATION, CLIMATE
Another part of the treaty is devoted to strengthening bilateral cultural and educational relations as well as youth exchanges. Paris and Berlin are also going to establish a common civil foundation, aimed at supporting civil initiatives and ties between sister cities.
France and Germany are going to overcome obstacles in border areas in order to implement cross-border projects, including economic, social, environmental, health, energy and transport ones.
The two states also wish to work on boosting implementation of multilateral documents related to sustainable development, global healthcare and protection of the environment and climate, in particular, on the Paris Agreement of December 12, 2015, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
INTEGRATION OF ECONOMIES
The countries intend to deepen integration of their economies in order to create a Franco-German economic zone with common rules.
The document also highlights that Franco-German Financial and Economic Council contributes to harmonization of the laws of the two countries, in particular, in the field of business law, and regularly coordinates the economic policies of France and Germany.
Finally, France and Germany are going to intensify cooperation in research, digital technologies, artificial intelligence and innovation.