Before the Moldova Conference: Good Franco-German relations

Before the Moldova Conference: Good Franco-German relations

None, they didn’t have to sweep up any broken pieces, say Annalena Baerbock (Greens) and Catherine Colonna as if in chorus. The two foreign ministers have far removed the impression that Franco-German china has been smashed in recent weeks. Forget the cancellation of the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Fontainebleau at short notice, preparations are now being made intensively for the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty, in order to celebrate it “dignified”, as Minister Colonna emphasizes. The warnings of President Macron that “Germany is isolating” also fade away.

Minister Baerbock says how unsuccessful Vladimir Putin was in dividing Europe, and that applies particularly to Paris and Berlin: “We are closer together than ever before.”

The two foreign ministers climbed the stairs to the top floor of the Lycée Montaigne in Paris on Monday morning to celebrate Franco-German friendship. Communication between the two women is obviously working well, Baerbock speaks of “my friend Catherine”, Colonna regrets that she never learned German for fear of conjugating German verbs (“so difficult!”).

Students deal with disagreements

Students from the Abi-Bac classes are already waiting in the classroom to demonstrate that there is another way. The Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW) prepared the exchange as part of a day of encounters. The students take turns asking their questions in both languages. But she, too, is concerned with the question of how bad the Franco-German relationship is.

Baerbock explains that differences of opinion are part of everyday life, “you don’t always agree with your best friend when you’re buying clothes.” The Foreign Minister believes that it speaks for the strength of democracies that differences are addressed openly. There are “different cultures” about nuclear power and it doesn’t make sense to keep them secret.

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