A combined German-French parliamentary assembly that will be able to propose joint, but non-binding, resolutions has been given the green light by France's National Assembly. Its first sitting is on March 25 in Paris.
French National Assembly president Richard Ferrand (pictured above) said Monday the chamber had approved the combined Franco-German parliamentary body conceived in January in Aachen — despite objections from France's radical left and far right.
"Building such a unique parliamentary institution is a sign of the intensity of our relationship," said Ferrand, referring to Paris' and Berlin's renewal in Aachen in January of the Elysee Treaty, their 1963 post-war reconciliation pact.
Still awaited is the German Bundestag approval of the new body, expected when Berlin votes to ratify the new Treaty of Aachen.
The assembly would meet twice a year, would comprise 100 members — drawing 50 parliamentarians from each assembly — and would be able to propose, but not dictate, joint resolutions to the National Assembly and Bundestag.
Little in common?
In French parliamentary circles, radical leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon argued that France had more in common with southern Europe than with Germany.
The "idea that everything is run by two countries" [Germany and France] went against the interests of other European countries, said Melenchon, referring to Europe's past strains over euro zone crises, immigration and Brexit.
The 16-page Aachen Treaty, although short of detail, also commits Berlin and Paris to closer foreign policy and defense ties, promotion of French-German city twinning projects, cross-border academic titles and language acquisition.
ipj/aw (dpa, AFP)