Yesterday, November 23, 2005, Angela Merkel visited Paris for the first time as chancellor of Federal Germany thus opening a new page in the rich book of French-German history of relationships. For half a century ago, our two diplomacies have been closely linked, jointly working day by day.
The situation created by the rejection of the European Constitution Treaty (TCE) in France and Holland calls for a new launch of the European project by this driving couple. Our countries should come together in order to face this common responsibility. For that, we must insist on the basic points, namely: remembering our common history based on the rejection of Nazism and the assertion of an unquestionable idea of mankind; placing the citizen again in the center of the European project; and, first of all, reasserting the validity of the initial goals in the construction of Europe, i.e., to encourage peace and the Union values the welfare of its peoples. Reintroducing the basic points is, in short, being loyal to the European commitment in the eyes of the world. The Union must play an active role in the international arena.
These goals set forth a number of requirements on the French-German association. We must prepare ourselves from now on for both the June 2006 European Council and the German presidency of the Union in the first half of 2007. A top priority is to get the Union out of the political stagnation it is in now. This is the reason why we must, first of all, assemble as a whole to finish the negotiations on the financial prospects. There is an agreement almost ready based on the proposals of the Luxembourg presidency last June. Our relations with Germany, to preserve its capacity for action, must also adjust to the events taking place both in Europe and the whole world. That’s why the French-German pairing should remain open to the rest, without any exclusivism or ostracism. I think of course of the relations with Poland in the framework of the Weimar triangle. Such capacities should be fully exploited. We also have to learn how to develop pragmatic relations with the United Kingdom in terms of defense; and have started a fruitful cooperation with Spain in terms of research and immigration. Lastly, we must reflect along with Germany on a wider prospective for Europe including all topics: its boundaries, its economic, monetary and social strategies, its institutional setting.
The common statement approved on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Elysee Treaty on January 22, 2003 was entitled “The French-German Friendship at the Service of a Common Responsibility for Europe”. Today that statement stills sets out the way to follow.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

La relation franco-allemande, un héritage au service de l’Union”, by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Le Figaro, November 24, 2005.