ENHANCING FRANCO-GERMAN COMMON DEFENSE: RESPONSE FROM THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE
On October 28, I asked Jean-Yves Le Drian a written question about the enhancement of Franco-German common defense during Defense and Citizenship Day in Germany. Please find the response from the Ministry of Defense below:
For more than 50 years, Franco-German cooperation has developed on the basis of historic reconciliation which has been one of the major challenges and the driving force behind European construction. Founding element of the rapprochement between the two countries, the cooperation treaty between France and the Federal Republic of Germany signed on January 22, 1963 (Elysee Treaty) meets a threefold objective: symbolically seal Franco-German reconciliation, strengthen friendship between the two peoples and fostering the construction of a united Europe. On a political and institutional level, this treaty provides for regular meetings between heads of state and government, ministers and senior officials, as well as the establishment of consultation structures in many areas, including defense, in order to instill a reflex of cooperation between the two countries. It is within this framework that the Franco-German Economic and Financial Council, the Franco-German Environment Council and the Franco-German Defense and Security Council were created. In addition, the treaty encourages strong interaction between the civil societies of the two countries, in particular in the sectors of education, research, culture and youth exchanges. In this context, the Defense and Citizenship Day (JDC) offers young French people the opportunity to measure the extent of the links forged by France and Germany in the field of defense. In 2013, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, the quality of relations between the two States was particularly highlighted through multiple actions: – in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, a JDC took place in the presence of the 291st Jägerbataillon, German infantry unit, symbol of interoperability and cooperation between our two armies; – on April 10, 2013, the Nice national service center organized an exceptional JDC at the Franco-German pilot school (EFA) of TIGRE du Cannet-des-Maures , for the benefit of about fifty young people of the region ; – on May 22, 2013, the Franco-German friendship was included in the program of the JDC which was held at the Max Jacob college in Quimper. A future German officer thus presented his binational career and the exchange program established in 1993 between the French and German naval schools; – on June 26, 2013, a JDC was held in Laval on the theme of the fiftieth anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, during which the participants met two German officers undergoing training at the military schools of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan. Finally, JDCs on the same theme have been organized for the benefit of young French people living in Germany by our consular representations. Initiatives of this type help remind young French people of the importance and challenges of Franco-German friendship. More generally, the participants in the JDC are, whatever the country in which they reside, invited to value the lessons received during this day in their journey as French and European citizens.