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Pariser Platz Dialogue - Summary and Recording

With a new German government now in power, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union starting on 1 January, and the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in France, the future of Europe and the one of Franco-German relations remains to be written. 

In such a particular context, how can France and Germany can prepare a joint action plan for the post-election period? On 13 and 14 December, the Franco-German Dialogue gathered more than 50 high-ranked decision-makers from France and Germany to discuss various topics related to Franco-German cooperation.  

Although many questions remain unanswered for the moment, participants largely agreed that the German Koalitionsvertrag represents an ambitious and optimistic future for European and Franco-German cooperation. On the French side, it is the next elections in April that will largely define the form that Franco-German cooperation will take in the future. In the meantime, the French presidency of the EU Council, coupled with a clearly pro-European coalition in Germany, constitutes a high opportunity to make tangible steps forward on certain European files. However France may want to push some issues in line with the national debate. 

The event was an excellent platform to highlight that France and Germany share a common vision and similar approaches on many different topics. For example, the participants shared the view that the climate is a common good that needs to be protected through investment and increased cooperation both in Europe and globally. A crucial challenge is to take into account the social character of climate action. Social acceptability must at the heart of climate action. This transition has to be fair or will not happen at all. On democracy, the participants recalled that citizen involvement in the political process should be strengthened. While ensuring a more representative system, this is a way to take the wind out of the sails of extreme parties in both countries. 

Whether regarding arms exports, military operations abroad or the role of new technologies in security and defence, clear divergences remain between France and Germany. Nonetheless, both countries agree that they must now assume their role as a global power on the international stage. 

The concluding public discussion “Franco-German to-dos: What is the agenda for the post-election period? “ was an opportunity to take stock of the discussions and to draw up a roadmap for Franco-German cooperation for the upcoming months.  You can watch the discussion here: