the last tango of Paris and Berlin

On January 22, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will sign a new treaty of cooperation and integration between France and Germany in Aachen. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle will logically be based on the founding foundation of the 1963 Elysée Treaty, which contributed to the historic reconciliation between France and Germany, "to aim at a new objective of greater convergence between France and Germany and to prepare the two countries for the challenges they face in the 21st century"explains the Elysée on its website. This treaty aims to strengthen links between Germany and France, particularly in the areas of economic policy, foreign and security policy, education and culture, research and technology, climate and the environment.

Increased cooperation in defense and security

In terms of foreign and defense policy, the two states want to go a step further in their cooperation: "The two states deepen their cooperation on foreign policy, defense, external and internal security and development while striving to strengthen Europe's autonomous capacity for action" (Article 3 of the new Treaty). In this context, France and Germany will consult each other in order to define common positions on any important decision affecting their common interests and to act jointly in all cases where this is possible. In the field of defense and security, the two states want to "to converge more and more on their security and defense objectives and policies".

In this context, "they lend themselves to assistance and assistance by all the means at their disposal, including armed force, in case of armed aggression against their territories". The two states also pledge to further strengthen cooperation between their armed forces with a view to establishing a common culture and joint deployments. This will not be easy since the German Parliament is sovereign in this area. In the area of ​​internal security, the Governments of the two States are further strengthening their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, as well as their cooperation in the judiciary and in intelligence and police matters.

Cooperation "as close as possible" between manufacturers

Berlin and Paris continue to develop "the effectiveness, coherence and credibility of Europe in the military field". The two countries pledge in particular to strengthen Europe's capacity for action and to invest jointly to fill its capacity gaps, thus strengthening the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. For Germany, NATO remains the pillar of European defense. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen recalled in September in Paris that "objective analysis of the strategic situation also leads to the conclusion that NATO remains indispensable for the collective defense and security of Europe".

To address capacity gaps, Germany and France will intensify joint defense programs and expand them to partners. Both states advocate "the closest possible cooperation between their defense industries, on the basis of their mutual trust". In addition, they will develop a common approach to arms exports for programs with Franco-German equipment. What remains very vague still. Germany has apparently not given anything to France on this very thorny point. Finally, Berlin and Paris will create the Franco-German Defense and Security Council as a political body to manage these reciprocal commitments. It will meet at the highest level at regular intervals.

Admission of Germany as a permanent member of the UN

The two states wish to extend cooperation between their foreign affairs ministries, including their diplomatic and consular missions. They will exchange senior staff. They will also establish exchanges within their Permanent Representations to the United Nations in New York, in particular between their Security Council teams, their Permanent Representations to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and their Permanent Representations to the United Nations. the European Union, as well as between the bodies of the two States responsible for coordinating European action.

Above all, the two States pledge to continue their efforts to complete intergovernmental negotiations on the reform of the United Nations Security Council. With the admission of Germany as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. This objective is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy. France is making a very strong gesture for Germany. But what does Berlin do for Paris?