Speech by François Hollande to the Bundestag
I am aware of the exceptional moment we are experiencing: the meeting of our two parliaments, with the government leaders and the two presidents, and the privilege I have been given of speaking here, on France’s behalf, at the Bundestag. I want to praise the Chancellor once again for making us feel so welcome over the past two days, to celebrate a treaty signed 50 years ago by two statesmen, Konrad Adenauer and General de Gaulle, who were bold, brave and passionate enough to think it possible not only to reconcile our two peoples but to unite the destinies of France and Germany through a treaty which, in itself, was able to lay the groundwork for friendship. The success of this challenge exceeded even the signatories’ intentions.
Throughout the past 50 years, their successors – the heads of government and the presidents – have been careful to cultivate and maintain the friendship between our two countries and at every stage add new projects to it, conceived not just for France and Germany but for Europe itself. In other words, to ensure that what enabled us to get back together could also provide an opportunity for Europe to be reunited.
This friendship has acted as a driving force over the past 50 years. This doesn’t mean that it hasn’t had its ups and downs or been tempestuous! We must stop seeing Franco-German friendship as a long, peaceful journey! (...)
For us to unite (...) we are required to come together for a common will, to promote an original economic and social model, to protect the environment, to share a similar view of the world, because Europe is a power. It is a power! But one different from the others; a power which wants to contribute to peace and promote universal values.