DW reports that Germany and France have signed a new bilateral pact called the Treaty of Aachen1 pledging deeper cooperation between the two nations and paving the way for EU reforms. The new treaty was signed on the 56th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, which at the time established a new foundation for relations that ended centuries of rivalry between the two countries.
This comes at a critical time for the EU, which is facing countervailing winds such as Brexit and the rise of the right. Since the end of WWII, the EU has promoted peace, human rights and economic prosperity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron each made statements supporting the EU.
Chancellor Merkel said:
Seventy-four years, a single human lifetime, after the end of World War II, what seems self-evident is being called into question again. That’s why, first of all, there needs to be a new commitment toward our responsibility within the European Union, a responsibility held by Germany and France.
President Macron said:
Those who forget the value of French-German reconciliation are making themselves accomplices of the crimes of the past. Those who … spread lies are hurting the same people they are pretending to defend by seeking to repeat our history.