56th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty and of the Franco-German Friendship. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

The Elysée Treaty was signed on 22 January 1963 by France and the Federal Republic of Germany. Following several decades of rivalries and conflicts, Germany and France sent a message of reconciliation and laid the groundwork for close bilateral cooperation to support European integration.

The Elysée Treaty is the result of two men’s rapprochement efforts, West German Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gualle. Both men opposed the Nazi regime and wanted to their hand in friendship to enemies of the past. With this treaty, they decided to establish a new relationship to seal a lasting friendship. One of the successful outcomes of this Treaty was that it brought the two peoples much closer together. This can be seen in the signature of more than 2,300 twinning programmes and a raft of civil society initiatives.

To strengthen ties between young people in our two countries, the Treaty created the French-German Youth Office (OFAJ or Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk or DFJW in German), which aims to facilitate exchanges and reciprocal language learning. Since 1963, some 9 million young German and French people have participated in 320,000 exchange programmes through the OFAJ.

Politically, the Treaty provides for meetings at least twice a year for Heads of State and Government and three times a year for foreign ministers, in addition to meetings focusing on defence, education and youth. Since the Treaty was signed, the leaders of the two countries have met regularly and pursued discussions regardless of what is happening politically on either side of the Rhine River.

The close Franco-German collaboration allowed both countries to open co-located embassies. Brunei Darussalam was the very first country where, in January 2015, France and Germany inaugurated the first co-located embassies. The diplomatic representations in Koweit, Bengladesh, Congo, Brazil have followed and Soudan will be the next one

Last updated on: 22 January 2019