January 26, 2023

Global Challenges 60 Years after the Élysée Treaty


On January 26, 2023, Ambassador Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, and Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, joined the French-American Foundation and the American Council on Germany for a virtual discussion. The event was moderated by FAF President Caroline Naralasetty and Dr. Steven E Sokol, President of the American Council on Germany.

The conversation focused on global challenges that have arisen in the sixty years following the signing of the post-World War II friendship treaty between France and Germany, the Élysée Treaty. Notably, the event also took place on the heels of the January 22, 2023 gathering of the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris. Ambassador Leendertse and Ambassador de Rivière opened the discussion by acknowledging the historical relevance and legacy of the treaty, particularly in the context of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which marks the largest conventional military attack since World War II.

The ambassadors covered a range of topics, including the enduring importance of people-to-people exchange between the two countries; sticking points between Paris and Berlin; concerns and solutions related to EU defense spending and European self-sufficiency; challenges and opportunities for NATO; and respective approaches to environmental and climate policy. Both ambassadors shared their commitment to strengthening the Franco-German relationship and acknowledged that, despite their differences, the two countries are committed to cooperating and supporting one another.

The French-American Foundation extends thanks to Vielen Dank to Ambassador Antje Leendertse and Ambassador de Rivière for an enlightening discussion, and to the team at the American Council on Germany for their partnership in organizing this event.