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The Elysée Treaty turns fifty: a new AFP and dpa website celebrates 50 years of Franco-German Friendship

How yesterday’s enemies became today’s friends: with this common internet project, press agencies AFP and dpa retrace the landmark steps in franco-german friendship on the web. At http://www.50elysee.com, the two agencies commemorate the signing of the Elysée Treaty of friendship 50 years ago (on January 22, 1963), by french president Charles de Gaulle and german chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

With this website, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH retrace the chronological evolution of Franco-German relations from 1949 to the present day. Visitors can browse the site in either of both countries’ respective languages to discover how AFP and dpa commented on key developments at the time, such as the creation of the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community), in 1951 or the first summit of heads of state between de Gaulle and Adenauer, in 1958.

The site focuses more specifically on 1963, the year the Treaty of Friendship was signed at the Élysée Palace, but also when the French-German Youth Office was founded. Historical texts are complemented with images from the archives of both news agencies. Editorial teams from daily newspapers and other media from both countries are also offered an opportunity to contribute to the website with their own coverage of Franco-German history since 1949, in the interests of shedding new light on a common past and present.

The AFP and dpa project explains how the two countries, who were enemies in the Second World War, boldly decided to make a fresh start: “Great statesmen, on both sides of the Rhine, understood that in spite of all the reluctance and historical tensions, reconciliation between France and Germany was essential to advance the European ideal, says Emmanuel Hoog, CEO of AFP. Without exaggeration, one can say that the news media in both countries have played - and today still play - a major role in fostering change. Through their mission as news providers, AFP and dpa have contributed to bringing the peoples of France and Germany closer together.”

The website also illustrates the close relationship that exists between the two agencies: “In recent decades, cooperation between AFP and dpa has taken on multiple forms. For instance, we are currently partners in the EANA (European Alliance of News Agencies), as well as MINDS, a global network of news agencies who are collaborating in the digital development of the media, adds Michael Segbers, CEO of dpa. With this website dedicated to the Elysée Treaty’s 50th anniversary, we hope to help raise awareness of an important chapter in our shared history.”

About AFP
AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from wars and conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,260 journalists spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.

About dpa
dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH is the leading German news agency and an independent provider of multimedia contents. The agency supplies newswire services to German and foreign media. Its multinational network of editors and journalists works to provide news in keeping with the principles enshrined in the dpa Charter: reporting must be free of bias and unfettered by political, economic or governmental ideologies. Print media, radio stations, online and mobile communication providers in more than 100 countries rely on this journalistic excellence around-the-clock.

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