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Franco-German Relations (1963-1988)

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  1. A family that is closely linked with the US authorities
    1. A strong commitment to the American political and economic life
    2. The incarnation of the "model family" in the American myth of the Kennedys
  2. A controversial ?clan?
    1. The hidden faces of the Kennedy clan
    2. The end of a myth?

The Franco-German relations gradually warmed since the 1950s with the Schuman project. The failure of the EDC (European Defense Community) and the preference for an Anglo-French cooperation were the main obstacles. However, after the Suez crisis in 1956, Paris turned away from London for the benefit of Bonn and led to the European construction in 1957. The return to power of General de Gaulle favored a revival of bilateral relations as evidenced by visits to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises and Bonn in 1962. Chancellor Adenauer had appreciated the strength of De Gaulle during the Berlin crisis in 1961. During the year 1962, the two leaders agreed on reconciliation with a joint declaration. We raise the question about the evolution of the Franco-German relationship in 1963, the year of the signing of the Elysée Treaty, which was the founding act. Until the end of François Mitterrand, before German reunification, it changed the balance of power. How did the two former enemies be able to hear and what is the role of this particular relationship that was engaged in the politics of both countries?

Despite the differences outlined at the press conference on January 14, 1963 (double refusal of Kennedy to supply nuclear energy (MLF) and the accession of Britain to the European Communities), the good relations between De Gaulle and Adenauer allowed the signing of the Elysée Treaty on January 22, 1963. This treaty contains significant progress since it opened the way for cooperation in the field of youth, defense and external relations. It sealed the Franco-German reconciliation. Of course, the signature of both sides, is not without a second thought as to De Gaulle, a component of the "politics of grandeur" (De Gaulle could not rely on his European partners who rejected his "vision" of Europe states in draft by Christian Fouchet), and the FRG, a way to connect to a political power, but hopes remained high. It really speaks of alliance.

However the problem started when on May 16, 1963 with the addition of the Bundestag upon ratification, a Preamble inspired by Jean Monnet and supported by the United States reaffirmed the Atlantic cooperation, defense by NATO and the opening in Great Britain. De Gaulle, disappointed, did not hesitate to say "if the Franco-German treaty was not enforced, it would not be the first time in history."

The departure of Chancellor Adenauer and his replacement by the very Atlanticist Ludwig Erhard did not facilitate things. The year 1964 was truly a crisis on the external front. In agriculture, De Gaulle supported the Green Europe draft, but Erhard and Walter Hallstein, President of the German Commission, offered enhanced integration. This opened the "empty chair crisis" in 1965 which de Gaulle emerged victorious in January 1966. France withdrew from NATO's integrated command in 1966.

Tags: NATO, Elysée Treaty, European Defense Community

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