Swoboda on 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty: „The central pillar of the EU“
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Franco-German friendship treaty, Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, underlined the achievements and spelled out the challenges of the alliance at the core of the European Union:
„The treaty signed 50 years ago remains the central pillar of European co-operation. And with the election of François Hollande, the relationship between France and Germany has become more balanced. It is no longer about Chancellor Merkel imposing austerity policies against growth and employment. Merkel’s hegemony has rightly been ended.
„Deficit reduction can be combined with policies to fight unemployment. Studies prove that in the long term, debt reduction is more effective when achieved through increased employment. The social-democratic view of Europe is not about national dominance or excessive austerity policies. Our Europe is one of social equality and responsible budget policies.
Hannes Swoboda underlined the challenges ahead for the Franco-German relationship:
„Franco-German co-operation will face yet more challenges. The east of Europe must be better integrated and a division between northern and southern Europe must be avoided at all costs. Again, the France of François Hollande has a particular role here. For social-democrats, Europe is about including all its nations and citizens and we cannot accept a split into rich and poor regions: a Europe of work and a Europe of unemployment.
„Germany and France must frame a common security policy. The latest developments in the Sahel region have demonstrated the need for coherent European action. If they follow this path, Franco-German co-operation will not only be a historical success but will continue to be the central pillar of a united Europe.“