Strengthening bilateral collaboration

Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly Strengthening bilateral collaboration

Along with her French counterpart Jean Castex, Federal Chancellor Merkel participated in the 6th regular meeting of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly. The hearing focused on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and international issues.

Screens show Federal Chancellor Merkel participating in the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.

Federal Chancellor Merkel participated in the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.

Photo: Federal Government/Bergmann

What bilateral priorities were the focus of today’s meeting of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly?

In today's hearing, representatives from both parliaments focused on the coronavirus pandemic and how to cope with its consequences. They also discussed general questions of bilateral cooperation. Due to the pandemic, the hearings took place in a hybrid form in Berlin and Paris. The hearings also considered how borders with European neighbours like France were closed in response to the pandemic’s first wave. Representatives agreed that in future, a situation like this should require very close coordination.

What international issues were addressed?

The Federal Chancellor and the French Prime Minister Jean Castex reiterated the Franco-German proposal for an EU-Russia summit. The leaders emphasised that while the proposal had not been approved at last week’s EU summit, the first steps had been taken, as the EU was now examining formats in which direct dialogue could take place.

Referring to the suicide attack in Mali, Merkel called for stronger international collaboration in the fight against terrorism. The law passed in Hungary to restrict the right of young people to access information about LGBTQ content was also a topic of discussion.

What is the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly?

The Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly is a binational committee between Germany and France. It develops proposals on cross-border issues and contributes to the mutual implementation of EU guidelines. The Assembly comprises 100 members: half are drawn from representatives in the German Bundestag and half from representatives in the Assemblée nationale.

How long has the bilateral Assembly been in existence?

The bilateral Parliamentary Assembly was founded in 2019. Institutional collaboration at parliamentary level is based on the Franco-German Parliamentary Agreement, which was ratified on 11 March 2019 by the Assemblée nationale and by the German Bundestag on 20 March 2019.

The Parliamentary Agreement arose from intensive consultations held by the Franco-German working group, which was constituted on 22 January 2018 to mark the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty on French-German cooperation.

What are the Assembly’s roles and objectives?

Along with providing mutual support for EU guidelines, the Assembly's duties include developing proposals on cross-border issues, ensuring compliance with the 1963 Élysée Treaty (which was supplemented by the Aachen Treaty of 22 January 2019) and monitoring the implementation of the projects arising from it. In addition to this, the Assembly supports Franco-German ministerial councils such as the work of the French-German Defence and Security Council.

The goal of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly is to bolster international collaboration between the two parliaments and to work together to promote European integration and bilateral cooperation. Along with bilateral and European issues, the Assembly also turns its attention to international matters of mutual interest.