Consolidating the close cooperation even further
Due to the pandemic situation, the 22nd meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers took place on Monday as a video conference. Despite the surrounding circumstances, the decision was made to stick to the full event format, "in order to highlight the entire spectrum of our relations". This was underlined by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron after the Council of Ministers meeting.
The Chancellor welcomed the fact that Franco-German cooperation had become even closer since the Treaty of Aachen was concluded on 22 January 2019. She emphasised that "our cooperation will become even deeper in future."
"Sense of justice in the world"
The cabinets of the two countries discussed a wide range of issues to strengthen bilateral exchanges, but also to successfully address international challenges.
Despite declining incidence rates in both France and Germany, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that the coronavirus is still present and a great danger. Therefore, both countries will pass on 30 million vaccine doses to developing countries by the end of this year. The focus here is on "friendship with Africa", said Merkel on Monday evening. Only with a truly global approach to vaccinations would there be a "real sense of justice in the world," emphasised the Federal Chancellor.
Shaping the green and digital transition
Ministers from both countries also discussed further joint action at the international summits – the G7 meeting in Britain and the NATO summit – in June this year. In addition, the agenda included consultations on further cross-border projects within the scope of the Treaty of Aachen of 2019. One focus here was on forward-looking topics, such as how Germany and France can jointly shape the green and digital transition in a positive way. Federal Chancellor Merkel underscored that this could further consolidate the already close cooperation between the two nations.
Bringing citizens closer together
French President Macron followed up on this and outlined the trend-setting Franco-German cultural exchange projects, youth initiatives and also the joint transport agenda with the planned night train between Paris and Berlin from 2023, as insurance for the future of Europe. The aim must always be to bring the citizens of the countries closer together, said Macron on Monday evening. The French President also praised the cooperation with the Federal Government: "During these years, we have brought Europe forward at a rapid pace." With such efforts, it could be possible to successfully end the pandemic.
The decisions of the binational Council of Ministers are recorded in the "Franco-German Declaration of Berlin". In addition, talks were held on the "Implementation of the Treaty of Aachen and new projects".