Federal Cabinet welcomes French guests

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Transformation Federal Cabinet welcomes French guests

Germany has closer ties with France than with any other country. We are each other’s most important partner and ally. This was evident when the French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire attended Federal Cabinet. The topic of the discussions on Wednesday was “transforming industry in the face of global competition”.

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German cabinet ministers sitting at the cabinet table. French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire is among them.

The French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire joined his counterparts around the table at the Federal Cabinet meeting.

Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

“It was a very special joy and honour to participate in this cabinet meeting. This is a useful and good tradition,” said French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire today after a meeting with his German counterpart Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

Habeck said the talks had focused on a joint analysis of the starting position. “In Europe France and Germany are facing major challenges,” the Minister said. “The global situation has changed a great deal. Globalisation which functions as an interaction between free market forces in which anyone can succeed depending on demand and supply, is threatening to give way to a form of geopolitics where economic and energy questions are increasingly driven by interests: and that also means interests of power politics. As such Europe must cooperate closely, and within Europe France and Germany must cooperate.”

The importance of the Franco-German Partnership

According to Le Maire, one response to the challenges was, “We need a close and efficient partnership between France and Germany on issues such as climate protection, competitiveness, energy, innovation and growth.”

Federal Finance Minister Lindner described how joint initiatives grew out of the deep friendship between the two countries. “In the past the Franco-German Partnership was often the driving force behind the process of European unification. Where France and Germany developed projects together, many followed their lead, and we’re continuing to do that today,” said Lindner.


According to Minister of Economic Affairs Habeck, the challenges had arisen during a period of transformation, in which we not only faced changed external conditions, but also had to rethink how we respond to internal economic conditions. In this, Habeck stressed the need to focus not only on “analysing major issues, but also on the specific next steps, i.e., questions of energy policy partnerships as the European energy market faces upcoming reforms. Germany and France are working hand in hand to deliver these reforms,” Habeck said, adding that clearing away bureaucracy was planned as part of a Franco-German initiative, with the aim of adopting a common European approach which reduces the number of regulations, and makes procedures leaner, swifter and more efficient.

Following the cabinet meeting, Federal Chancellor Scholz received Le Maire for a one-to-one conversation. The agenda for the day also included a meeting with Wolfgang Schmidt, the Head of the Chancellery. This all demonstrates the unique qualities and significance of the Franco-German Partnership.

Close Partnership based on the Elysée Treaty

Regular participation in one another’s cabinet meetings is a core element of the Treaty of Aachen, which builds on the Elysée Treaty of 1963. The more recent treaty is a commitment to a strong, resilient and self-governing Europe. This includes close coordination on European policy, a strong common foreign and security policy, and creating an economic area with common rules. 

Franco-German relations are uniquely close and diverse, and are shaped by ongoing discussions at all political levels. This can be seen every day across a wide range of areas and levels, not just those of governments, but in exchanges between clubs and schools and even between individual people.

The foundations of the partnership. The Elysée Treaty, which was signed on 22 January 1963 placed reconciliation between the two countries and their close bilateral partnership on a treaty basis. The close collaboration between the two governments and the creation of the Franco-German Youth Office on 5 July 1963 to promote youth exchange are key elements of the treaty, which continue to prove their worth today. The partnership was further deepened and intensified with the signing of the Treaty of Aachen in 2019, which focused on new challenges such as climate protection and digitalisation, and places the partnership in the service of Europe and the European Union.