55th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty: JEF Germany and JEF France react together

A strong signal for peace and partnership in Europe and an important as well as bitterly needed step to further European integration

, by Junge Europäische Föderalisten - Deutschland, Les Jeunes Européens - France

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

55th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty: JEF Germany and JEF France react together
CC - Flickr

On the 22nd of January 2018, a joint resolution of the German Bundestag and the French National Assembly about the 55th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty was adopted by the two assemblies.

The Elysee Treaty was signed in 1963 to seal the Franco-German reconciliation after the Second World War and to help rebuild long lasting peace on the European continent based on a strong partnership between the former enemies: France and Germany. This Treaty helped to start the construction of the European project.

This joint resolution celebrates and reaffirms 55 years of cooperation between the two countries.

The text calls for a deepening of this bilateral cooperation in the near future with concrete projects such as the creation and harmonisation of a common energy market, the development of joint research programmes on energy efficiency and electric mobility, a common digital market, etc. This text ambitions to enhance the collaboration between France and Germany in the perspective of serving the European integration. The Franco-German partnership is thus presented to have a leading role in restarting a dynamic within Europe and with the Member States willing to engage further in the European Union.

JEF Germany and JEF France welcome the joint resolution of the German Bundestag and the French National Assembly, reaffirming the friendship between France and Germany. It is a strong signal for peace and partnership in Europe and for the European people.

We welcome the will of the two assemblies to work closely together on the future of Europe. It is also a strong signal towards an even more democratic Union because it is the parliaments with their genuine legislative power and not the only the governments to adopt the resolution, putting all the citizens of both countries in the middle of this important step.

Nevertheless, the joint resolution can only be a first step to foster the involvement of the two assemblies in reforming the European Union. Both assemblies should, as representatives of their citizens, push legislation on reforms in the European Union and call on their governments to make efforts in that regard.

JEF France and JEF Germany observe that the Franco-German tandem is willing to go further in the European construction process and to lead the refoundation of the European project. It is undeniable that the Franco-German partnership played an important role throughout the European construction process, and continues to do so today.

However, JEF Germany and JEF France want to reaffirm that the European Union can only be successfully reformed with the strong involvement of all citizens and all Member States. A “Two-Speed” Europe is not desirable on a long-term perspective. The future of the EU lies in the commitment and participation of citizens to the European political project.

On cross-border cooperation

JEF France and JEF Germany welcomes favourably the willingness of the two parliamentary assemblies to increase the competences of the Eurodistricts and to favour cross-border cooperation. This will enable a better coordination and providing of services to citizens living on the border and create a European administration. European exchange of pupils or workers will help to increase the understanding for each other and support the feeling of European citizenship.

On mobility and youth

JEF Germany and JEF France welcome the experiment of creating a Franco-German status for interns, but point out the fact that such a status is more than needed at the European level as well. Therefore, a harmonised status for interns should not be limited to France and Germany, rather affect all Member States within the EU and concern all European citizens. Such a status would facilitate youth mobility within Europe and help young people to integrate the European labour market more easily.

In that sense, the Franco-German Youth Office is a true promoter and advocator of Franco-German cooperation between youth. Such cooperation is an example, together with the Erasmus+ programme that fostering meeting, exchanges discussions between European citizens has a positive impact on their personal development, but also helps to create a sense of belonging to the European Union and to practise one’s European citizenship.

JEF France and JEF Germany welcome and support the engagement of France and Germany to develop European universities in the next 3 years. Fully integrated European universities are a good example of how the European Higher Education could look like in order to foster research and innovation, youth mobility and exchanges, interculturality, and build true European trainings and diplomas.

Nevertheless, the two countries should build on the existing institutions and knowledge, such as the Franco-German University, and deepen this initiative, rather than start from scratch.

In the present joint resolution, the deepening of the Franco-German partnership is presented as a laboratory to experiment further harmonisations in the field of corporate taxation, transports, and to reduce the administrative burden between countries aiming also at facilitating mobility, as well as to ensure the respect and effectiveness of the 4 freedoms of the Union. Such harmonisations should affect all Member States in the future to accomplish the further European integration process and make the EU more democratic and closer to the citizens.

On the Economic and Monetary Union

JEF France and JEF Germany are pleased to see that France and Germany are willing to deepen and complete the Economic and Monetary Union and to advance further on this topic at the European level. Reforms in that regard are overdue and should be made a priority in European politics in the next months. We would like to point out the fact that such deepening requires the achievement of a full political union, as well as the creation of a budget for the Eurozone fed by genuine own resources and placed under the democratic control of the European Parliament to ensure the economic and political stability of the Union.

On a common European defence

JEF Germany and JEF France encourage the two countries to take concrete new steps to build a common European defence. It is important to give the impulse and have a strong dynamic within the Permanent Structured Cooperation in order to achieve concrete results, however the Franco-German tandem should not prevent other Member States to join and widen the cooperation. The European common defence can only be achieved with the involvement, commitment and participation of all members of the EU.

On Migration policy

JEF Germany and JEF France subscribe to the call of the two assemblies to make of the European Neighbourhood Policy a priority for the coming months and years. This is particularly important to achieve a true European common foreign policy in the future and to pave the way for a better management of the migration crisis, which should be more respectful to the human rights and dignity of migrants.

A common European solution should soon be found to welcome refugees and divide them between Member States. JEF France and JEF Germany want to reaffirm that Member States have an obligation to show solidarity and should stay united to face such common challenges.

Finally, JEF France and JEF Germany would like to add that although France and Germany are a strong tandem and have always played an important role in Europe to pave the way for further European integration, the other members of the Union should not be forgotten because the refoundation of the EU can only be achieved with the support and involvement of all European citizens.

This “joint press release of JEF France and JEF Germany on the joint resolution of the German Bundestag and the French National Assembly about the 55th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty” was originally published on the website of the Junge Europäische Föderalisten Deutschland and of the Jeunes Européens France

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