Treaty of the Elysée

Treaty of the Elysée in Europe

Description of Treaty of the Elysée

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes treaty of the elysée in the following terms: [1] The 1963 Treaty of the Elysée, signed by President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, marked a new chapter in Franco-German co-operation. The fundamental basis of the understanding was that each side would consult the other before reaching any major foreign policy decision. The pact was strengthened by the instinctive personal friendship of the two leaders. Nevertheless, in its early years, the Treaty barely survived profound differences of opinion over the shape of the Community, de Gaulle favouring a Europe of Nations without Britain, while Adenauer and Walter Hallstein favoured British entry and supranationalism. In subsequent years, the alliance has overcome sharp differences over NATO, free trade, GATT, German reunification, interest rate policy, nuclear testing and Bosnia; and in 1997 and 1998 it faced a new test over EMU as France disagreed with Germany about the direction of the future European Central Bank.

The reasons why Franco-German co-operation has remained such a powerful force are both institutional and political. Regular summit and ministerial meetings, youth exchanges and the creation of joint military and economic bodies give a formal structure to what is essentially a marriage of convenience (see more in this European encyclopedia). By pre-agreeing a position on all Community questions of importance, Francehas been able to lever its influence off Germany’s economic weight, while Germany has been able to shelter behind French diplomacy to avoid the charge of attempted hegemony. Both nations routinely refer to their partnership as the driving force behind European integration.

With the departure of President François Mitterrand and Chancellor Helmut Kohl and their replacement by leaders who were more preoccupied with domestic issues, it seemed possible that the Franco-German axis might be less powerful at the start of the 21st century, especially as the influence of theUK and Spain increased. History, however, suggested that at the first sign of a threat to their joint predominance the two countries would move quickly to heal any rift between them and to reassert their will.

Treaty of the Elysée and the European Union

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See Also

  • Elysée Treaty

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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