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Paris and Berlin Celebrate Franco-German Day

Paris and Berlin Celebrate Franco-German Day

Joint statement by Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, and Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, for Franco-German Day, January 22, 2004. Source: Élysée Palace, Paris.

On 22 January, France and Germany will, for the first time, be celebrating Franco-German Day. Every year in French and German schools, this day, the anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty 41 years ago, will be given over to marking the friendship between France and Germany.

The joint Declaration we adopted last January expressed our desire to send a signal to our two countries’ young people. We want to encourage a greater number of French schoolchildren to learn German and more German schoolchildren to learn French. Knowledge of the partner’s language is the key to understanding her, her culture, the way she works and her way of life.

So we are lending our full support to the efforts our governments have set in train to promote the partner’s language. We are also very pleased at the success of the two language initiatives, DeutschMobil and FranceMobil¹, for which, on 22 January at the German Foreign Ministry, the two companies will be awarded the De Gaulle-Adenauer Prize for their contribution to Franco-German cooperation.

Franco-German Day is an investment in our common European future. Our two countries, whose economies and societies are so closely interlinked, have committed themselves to building a united and more efficient Europe. In schools this year’s Franco-German Day will be the opportunity to think about the new prospects opened up by the European Union's enlargement, and the role which the two countries' young generations can play in it.

Franco-German Day must help ensure that, in the future, men and women, in both France and Germany, have an in-depth knowledge of the partner country, and are ready to work together for a more dynamic and stronger Europe.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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