January 22, at Aix-la-Chapelle

January 22, at Aix-la-Chapelle


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This coming Tuesday, January 22, 2019, in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Emanuel Macron, will sign a new Franco-German Treaty on Cooperation and Integration. The new treaty has been totally ignored by mainstream western media with the exception of some Eurosceptic British media outlets and the German Deutsche Welle, which, however, kept the matter as a news story of quasi-irrelevant, secondary importance.

Yet, to quote Marcellus in Hamlet, it seems that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

It seems not to be coincidental that the Franco-German Treaty will be signed on January 22, 2019, exactly 56 years after the signature of the Elysse Treaty by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle in Paris. Germans with their nation divided for half a century became experts to express their intentions and their wishes, with symbolism. The Elysee treaty was signed on January 22, 1963, and was a cornerstone in modern European history.

The Aachen Treaty will implement the Paris agreed post-war reconciliation between France and Germany and, as the German Chancellery stated, it includes, among others, “the design of the European Defense Union” while it is “a commitment to strong, viable sovereign Europe”, obviously under the Franco-German leadership. The Chancellery emphasized France will support the German wish for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. This, however, it is highly likely to remain wishful thinking as the five permanent UNSC members will never unanimously agree on such a proposal, even if France gives to Germany (or to the European Union) its own seat.

As Europe has entered to a rather critical phase over the future of UK-EU relations, it is quite interesting to assess, how the Treaty, will affect the attitude of Germany and France towards a possible cancellation of Brexit. The Aachen Treaty, as most international agreements, it is likely to include a number of secret clauses. In this case, one of the first clauses may refer to a well-defined firm common Franco-German stance, over the future of Brexit.

The Franco-German treaty to be signed next Tuesday in Aachen is of great importance for the future of the European Union but the European Commission has not made any statement on the matter, as yet. It remains to be seen if the European Commission has knowledge of the content of the Treaty and especially of its secret clauses if any.

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