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50 years ago, historic enemies Germany and France signed a treaty aimed at bringing a lasting peace. Since then, both countries have played decisive roles in Europe and have shown a remarkable commitment in developing unified policies. Their close ties have been continually tested, not least of all during the current financial crisis.

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When they signed the "Élysée - Treaty” in 1963, French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer hoped to turn enemies into friends.

Today, the Franco-German political friendship is concerned with solving the problems of an increasingly globalized world as well as those of an ever expanding and crisis-stricken Europe.

For younger generations, it is now normal that the two states share close ties in education, economics, foreign and security policy.

What significance does the Franco-German friendship have today? Does it play an important role in Europe? And can the Élysée - Treaty be a model for other historic enemies?

Tell us what you think: Vive la Différence - Is Franco-German Friendship Cooling?

Write to us: quadriga@dw.de

Our guests:

Pascal Thibaut - The French journalist came to Berlin in 1990 and initially worked as a freelance journalist for various media organisations, including Radio Multi Kulti and Deutsche Welle. Since 1997 he has been foreign correspondent for Radio France International. 

Ulrike Guérot - is the Berlin bureau chief of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, she worked for the German Marshall Fund and the German Council on Foreign Relations. Guérot also taught at Johns Hopkins University in the United States and was a researcher at the Organisation Notre Europe in Paris. She also was part of the foreign policy working group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Her specialties include the European integration process, German-French ties and German-American relations. For her her engagement on European integrationShe has been recently awarded the prestigious ‘Ordre pour le Merite’.

Albrecht Meier - He was trained at the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" and subsequently worked as a local reporter for the "Taunus-Zeitung" in Bad Homburg (in Hessen). After completing his studies in Politics and Modern History, he came to Berlin where he became a Political Editor of the newspaper "Der Tagesspiegel" in 1991. He writes mainly about EU politics, France and Great Britain.