The Élysée Treaty turned fifty on 22 January 2013—signed in 1963
between France and Germany, under the watchful eyes of French President
Charles de Gaulle and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
Although celebrated every decade, this particular anniversary comes at a
crucial time in the countries’ bilateral relationship. After a few tumultuous
years of disagreement and distance between Paris and Berlin over serious
economic and foreign policy issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and French President François Hollande have seized the opportunity of
the year-long anniversary calendar to work on political rapprochement, in
the spirit of one of the original purposes of the Treaty itself.