According to neoliberal institutionalism, states create international institutions to limit information asymmetries, monitor compliance, and ensure the credibility of commitments to agreed-upon policies-in short, to minimize transaction costs. Although this view can help explain the delegation of powers to supranational bodies such as the European Commission, it cannot account for the signature of the Élysée Treaty between France and Germany in January 1963, which reversed the logic of supranational delegation. Understanding the causes and the consequences of this apparently anomalous event is therefore a major challenge facing scholars of international organizations, European integration, and German foreign policy alike. To start addressing the issue, this article develops an explanation based on incomplete contracts theory. In a nutshell, I argue that the Élysée Treaty aimed at securing the equal treatment of French and German interests in the process of European integration, thereby allowing the deepening of European integration.
The Élysée Treaty and European Integration Theory
The Élysée Treaty in the Context of Franco-German Socio-cultural Relations
Even though the terms “culture“ and “reconciliation“ are absent in the Élysée Treaty, this article looks at forms of cooperation that the Treaty nevertheless generated in the fields of education and youth, as well as foreign affairs and defense. In fact, the Treaty was quite important for the development of cultural and socio-cultural relations between France and Germany and the interactions between states and civil societies. Yet, contrary to the political rhetoric often heard, the Élysée Treaty was not the “year zero“ of Franco-German rapprochement. The Treaty also has to be evaluated in terms of the new impetus it provided for societal initiatives, as well as its limits in the cultural field. The article also assesses recent debates among intellectuals in the two countries: Do the two nations still have something to share at the cultural level or have they distanced themselves from each other? Has the Élysée Treaty really exhausted its integrative capacities regarding socio-cultural matters? In sum, the Treaty has become an important framework for Franco-German socio-cultural cooperation, even if “culture“ was not its main aim, and governments are far from having been the main actors in this field. But, thanks to the joint process of consultation and institutionalization, experiments with bilateral forms of exchanges and cooperation often occurred before being re-applied to a larger framework.
Changing Partners at Fifty? French Security Policy after Libya in Light of the Élysée Treaty
The 2011 Libya campaign highlighted the divergence of interests between France and Germany within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of Middle East and global security. This divergence calls for a reassessment of the meaning of their bilateral cooperation, as defined in the Treaty of Friendship between France and Germany, otherwise known as the Élysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963 by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle. This article focuses on France, which engaged militarily in Libya cooperating with the United Kingdom as its principal European partner. Germany, for reasons explained by its history, political culture, and the nature of its federal system, chose to abstain in the United Nations vote to authorize the campaign. These differences between France and Germany suggest a contrast in their respective security and, particularly defense, policy objectives on the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.
France and Germany Fifty Years after the Élysée Treaty
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.
Sarkozy and Merkel: The Undeniable Relevance of the Franco-German Bilateral Relationship in Europe
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.
Remembering the “Forgotten Zone”
Recasting the Image of the Post-1945 French Occupation of Germany
marked both the seventieth anniversary of the trizonal merger and the fifty-fifth anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, which codified efforts at Franco-German reconciliation begun during the occupation period, the time is right to reflect on the importance
A New Identity for Old Europe
How and Why the French Imagined Françallemagne in Recent Years
This article examines recent efforts to foster a sense of “Franco-Germanness” in France through an analysis of popular media generated by the fortieth anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in 2003, including: (1) a Franco-German television news program, (2) a light-hearted television program called Karambolage that presents daily life in France and Germany, and (3) a new history textbook for use in both German and French schools. These recent efforts differed from previous attempts to bring France and Germany closer both in terms of how they operated (earlier efforts focused on informing one country about the other's foreign culture; recent efforts were more about identifying what the two have in common) and why they occurred (earlier efforts focused on transforming a former enemy into a friend; recent efforts were about coming together in the face of a common adversary, namely, the Bush administration and its position on Iraq).
Leading through a Decade of Crisis—Not Bad, After All
Germany’s Leadership Demand and Followership Inclusion, 2008-2018
Valerio Alfonso Bruno and Giacomo Finzi
bilateralism from the Elysee Treaty to twenty-first century politics (Oxford, 2013); see also Schild (see note 16). 28 The indicators are located on a 0 to 4-point scale (0=minimum, 4=maximum) and are weighted. The dimensions crisis management and common
Perceptions of German Leadership
Irish National Identity and Germany as a “Significant Other” during the Euro Crisis
Paterson, “The Reluctant Hegemon?,” 61n1. 13 Ulrich Krotz and Joachim Schild, Shaping Europe: France, Germany, and Embedded Bilateralism from the Elysée Treaty to Twenty-First Century Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 8. 14 Ibid., 10