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    French President Emmanuel Macron hugs German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 in Paris

    'Act Together': Macron, Merkel to Sign New Treaty on Bilateral Cooperation

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will sign a new bilateral agreement on boosting bilateral foreign policy, economic, defence and security, culture, education and climate cooperation on 22 January in the German city of Aachen.

    Among other things, the document outlines negotiations on reforming the UN Security Council and French support for Germany's candidacy for permanent membership in the body.

    The new agreement will be based on the foundations of the 1963 Elysee Treaty that made a great contribution to the historic reconciliation between France and Germany.

    The Elysee Treaty was signed on 22 January 1963, in Paris by then-French President Charles de Gaulle and then-German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The document obliged the authorities of both countries to hold regular consultations on key foreign policy and security issues, as well as youth and cultural policy.

    In 1988, then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and then-French President Francois Mitterrand established defence and security councils, as well as councils on economic, financial, and monetary policies in addition to the Elysee Treaty.

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    The goal of the new treaty, which Merkel and Macron will sign on Tuesday in Aachen, is to bring the two countries closer together and prepare them for the challenges they face in the 21st century.

    The treaty, whose text was distributed by the Elysee Palace’s press service, consists of 13 pages and contains seven chapters and 28 articles.

    Defence, Security Cooperation

    According to the document, France and Germany intend to strengthen cooperation on common European politics.

    "They [the countries] act in the interests of an effective and strong common foreign and security policy, strengthening and deepening the economic and monetary union. They want to complete establishment of a single market and create a competitive union based on strong industrial capacities", the document states.

    The treaty refers to a boost in foreign policy, defence, foreign, and internal security cooperation.

    "They consult with each other to identify common positions on any important decision affecting their common interests, and act together in all situations, whenever possible", the agreement says.

    The two countries are committing themselves to strengthening bilateral cooperation between the countries’ armed forces.

    "They are intensifying development of common defence programs and expanding them to the partners. Thus, they intend to promote competitiveness and consolidation of the industrial and technological base of the European defence… Both states will develop a common approach to arms exports regarding joint projects", the document reads.

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    In addition, the agreement envisages boosting bilateral cooperation on combating terrorism and organised crime, as well as on legal issues, intelligence and policing.

    France and Germany are committing themselves to establishing a closer partnership between Europe and Africa, strengthening private sector development, regional integration, education and training, and gender equality cooperation to improve social and economic prospects, prevent conflicts and settle crises.

    UN Security Council Reform

    The treaty includes a provision on close Franco-German cooperation in all UN bodies.

    "They will work together to promote the European Union’s positions and commitments in front of the global challenges and threats to the United Nations. They will do everything possible to achieve a common European Union’s position in the relevant UN bodies", the treaty says.

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    Both countries also intend to continue their efforts to complete intergovernmental negotiations on reforming the UN Security Council.

    "Germany’s acceptance as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is a priority of Franco-German diplomacy", the document says.

    Culture, Education, Climate

    Another part of the treaty is devoted to strengthening bilateral cultural and educational relations as well as youth exchanges. Paris and Berlin are also going to establish a common civil foundation, aimed at supporting civil initiatives and ties between sister cities.

    France and Germany are going to overcome obstacles in border areas to implement cross-border projects, including economic, social, environmental, health, energy and transport.

    The two states also wish to work on boosting the implementation of multilateral documents related to sustainable development, global healthcare and protection of the environment and climate, in particular, on the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Integration of Economies

    The countries intend to deepen the integration of their economies in order to create a Franco-German economic zone with common rules.

    The document also highlights that the Franco-German Financial and Economic Council contributes to harmonizing the two countries' laws, in particular, in the field of business law, and regularly coordinates French and German economic policies.

    Additionally, France and Germany are going to intensify cooperation in research, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, and innovation.

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    bilateral cooperation, treaty, UN Security Council, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Germany, France
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