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1ST LEAD Merkel, Macron show unity with plans to update bilateral treaty By Martina Herzog, dpa

Europe
21.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin/Paris (dpa) - Germany and France aim to enhance economic, social, political and technological cooperation by updating the 55-year-old Elysee Treaty this year with a view towards strengthening Europe‘s place on the world stage.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron announced the plans in both a joint statement and video released in their respective capital cities on Sunday.

The announcements came the day before the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Elysee friendship treaty in 1963 by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle.

The treaty was a symbol of the end of the long-standing hostility between the two countries.

The parliaments of both countries had called for the treaty to be updated. Members of the French National Assembly will visit Berlin on Monday, as members of the German Bundestag travel to Paris.

"By this means we are allowing ourselves to be guided by the founding idea of the Elysee Treaty of bringing together our citizens and making our cooperation perceptible to all," Merkel and Macron co-wrote.

"Our aim is develop joint positions on all major European and international issues," they said.

In no uncertain terms, the plans call for closer coordination of the two economies and promoting the use of French and German in their respective countries, along with exchange programmes and cooperation in the cultural arena.

Security cooperation between the respective police forces and intelligence services should also be extended. There are also plans to boost joint efforts on climate change and switching to renewable forms of energy.

"We are doing this in order to bring the people of our countries even closer together," Merkel said. "And we are doing this to give all of united Europe a renewed boost to make it even stronger."

Macron addressed his remarks to young people in particular. "Make use of the opportunities for meeting and exchange. Take on the challenge of learning the other‘s language. Be open to this culture. Be curious about each other," he said.

 

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