On 22 January, we are jointly celebrating the Day of Franco-German Friendship. It was on that day in 1963 that French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed a treaty of friendship, the so-called Elysée Treaty. With the signing of this treaty, Germany and France established a new foundation for their alliance, putting an end to centuries of French–German enmity and wars. Even before the formalization of the Elysée Treaty, the will to end the history of the confrontation between France and Germany was also at the root of the very idea of the European construction. In order to avoid any new war between France and Germany, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer decided, in 1951, to communitize the raw materials necessary for war, coal and steel, making through this mutual dependency, impossible any new war between these two powers of Western Europe. Once this first stone was laid, the Franco-German friendship continued to be the driving force of the European Union through the turbulences. Today the European Union is a positive example of what peace and reconciliation can achieve, that can serve as a beacon of hope for conflicts all over the world, with democracy and human rights as its foundation.
In the Treaty of Aachen/Traité d’Aix la Chappelle, which France and Germany concluded on 22 January 2019, we renewed our commitment and deepened our relations in the areas of peace, security, development, culture, education, sustainable development, environment and economic affairs. Thus, today is also the opportunity to celebrate the 5-year-anniversary of the Treaty of Aachen - It makes our relations future-proof.
Nowadays cooperation between France and Germany is closer than ever at a wide range of levels, including in civil society. In the Treaty of Aachen we agreed to work together to strengthen the European Union and the Europe of tomorrow. Germany and France are working towards a European Union that is even more resilient, more sovereign and capable of action. As a result, within the framework of the EU our societies, our politics and our economies grow even more closely together.
France and Germany are today working closely together on important future issues. In the Philippines, Germany and France share the concern for upholding the international rules-based order in relation to UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award of 2016. Furthermore, we support the peace process towards a more stable and peaceful Mindanao. Another common interest of France and Germany in the Philippines is the fight against climate change – a truly global issue that requires multilateral solutions. Together Germany and France put emphasis on the protection and promotion of human rights. We have established the Franco-German Human Rights Award that was given to Philippine Human Rights Defenders in 2017, 2019 and 2021 respectively. This year, we are planning to intensify our cooperation in the area of Human Rights by organizing joint Human Rights Gatherings in order to discuss current issues.
Franco-German Friendship and cooperation goes far beyond the borders of Europe and enables us to learn from the past, strengthen our partnership and our relations with the rest of the world.
With this in mind, let us look to the future together with confidence: vive l'amitié franco-allemande, es lebe die deutsch-französische Freundschaft, long live Franco-German friendship!