Sarkozy and Merkel: The Undeniable Relevance of the Franco-German Bilateral Relationship in Europe

in German Politics and Society

In 2013 France and Germany will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, signed by the two countries to create a close collaboration in the interest of peace and prosperity. Over the course of five decades, different couples of French Presidents and German Chancellors have dealt with the Paris-Berlin relationship in slightly different ways, some with more success than others. Despite the many changes in the European context and to the balance in the alliance between France and Germany, the initial motivation and meaning of the treaty remains astonishingly valid today, especially in light of its positive contribution to European integration. Even with many possible factors weakening the two countries' core relations, the Franco-German duo retains its historically dominant influence in successful European governance, as the recent Merkozy situation showed.