1963-2013 : 50 years of the Elysée Treaty

On January 22, 1963, the President of the French Republic, Charles de Gaulle, and the federal Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, signed the Elysée Treaty. Also known as the Treaty of Friendship, this treaty was intended to reinforce Franco-German reconcilliation and cooperation. The two countries envisioned future collaboration in several different domains :

Foreign Affairs : the two countries anticipated the need to consult each other on foreign affairs questions that would affect them both. A few examples of such questions are the relationship between the East and the West during the Cold War, political cooperation between European countries, and matters concerning European and international organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, or the United Nations.

Defense : the two countries sought to improve their mutual security by helping to defend each other. This process involved bringing their strategies and plans of defense together, increasing personal exchanges between the two armies, and working together to produce weapons and arms.

Education and Youth : the two countries wished to intensify their school curriculums to help children learn the language of the neighboring country. They also strove to set common standards for school term length, exams, and diplomas, as well as to collaborate on scientific research.

The Elysée Treaty also established a "calendar" of sorts for Franco-German reconcilliaton. The Treaty organized meetings at regular intervals between important figures from the respective countries, including the Heads of State and Government, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and the authorities responsible for the domains specified in the Treaty. A special commission, comprised of ministers from both countries and charged with coordinating Franco-German cooperation, was also envisioned by the Treaty.

50 years after it was signed, the Elysée Treaty continues to be a key piece in Franco-German collaboration. It is thanks to this treaty that many collaborative institutions have seen the light of day, notably the French-German Office for Youth (OFAJ), the French-German Council of Defense and Security (CFADS), the French-German Council of Economics and Finance (CEFFA), and the French-German Council of the Environment (CFAF). These councils, made up of ministers from France and Germany, meet once a year, on average, to decide on procedures that will benefit both governments. These councils alternate which country they meet in each year, as a show of friendship and equality.

The Elysée Treaty ratified Franco-German Collaboration. It created a true friendship between the two former enemies, which today has become a driving force behind European and international cooperation.

50 ans traité de l'Elysée
Visit the official site commemorating 50 years of the Elysée Treaty.

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    • 26 june 2017

      International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

    • Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

      Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

      On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, (resolution 39/46), annex, which entered into force on 26 June 1987.