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  • Author: Laura-Theresa Krüger, Julie Vaillé
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, France and Germany signed the Aachen Treaty. Therein, 56 years after the Elysée Treaty, re-emphasising their support for multilateralism, sustainable development and development cooperation. Despite the ambitions expressed in this document, the signing of the Treaty calls for reflection: to what extent does this type of agreement indeed lead to joint operational approaches and have a real impact on French–German cooperation? To answer this question, this Briefing Paper analyses the obstacles to a closer French–German cooperation in the field of sustainable international development. It focuses on how these commitments are put into practice at the level of political coordination and project implementation. The analysis is based on about 20 interviews with representatives of French and German ministries, development agencies and think tanks. It finds that things get most complicated at the level of political coordination. Three main obstacles are identified: slightly diverging strategic visions; an incompatibility between institutional structures concerning the degree of specialisation and the mandates of the ministries responsible for steering aid, as well as the degree to which development agencies are involved in strategic decision-making; and cultural particularities regarding communication and time management. Five recommendations are proposed: 1. Protect what has been achieved: the alignment between France and Germany at the political and project implementation levels is an asset in an international context where the focus on national interests is increasing. Such cooperation should thus continue to be supported and reinforced. 2. Channel the political momentum to the working level: in order to reinforce their coordination, the two countries could establish a solid and regular follow-up mechanism for each commitment, detailing joint actions, shared objectives and milestones. 3. Promote mutual knowledge and trust: personnel exchange between the departments, as well as deep dive sessions on the two countries’ activities and strategies would allow increased understanding of each other. 4. Share best practices: a balanced and respectful French–German collaboration could be encouraged by the sharing of practices for which one country is more advanced or better positioned than the other (such as the French interministerial coordination or the German project evaluation and monitoring procedures). 5. Act jointly or divide the work: in the run-up to each joint Franco-German action, make a deliberate and conscious decision whether the two countries have an interest to act jointly or to divide the work. This decision would allow maximisation of the impact, either by specialising or by working together.
  • Topic: Development, Treaties and Agreements, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Lennart Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In the framework of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, France and Germany face common challenges, ranging from security to global health. Against this background, this paper discusses opportunities and barriers for a French-German leadership in international donor coordination.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Trade, Donors
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Lennart Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: How can France and Germany develop a vision for an improved collaboration towards the 2030 agenda for sustainable development? This paper compares the French and German development systems to identify barriers and opportunities for a closer cooperation with partner countries.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Laura-Theresa Krüger, Julie Vaillé
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, France and Germany signed the Treaty of Aachen, which – among other things – foresees a stronger coordination and cooperation in the field of development policy. Against the backdrop of the Agenda 2030, the need for collective action has rarely been higher. Yet, although formal agreements on Franco-German cooperation were initially made in the 1963 Élysée Treaty, preliminary research insights point to the fact that cooperation has so far been driven more by opportunity than by strategy. That is why this study seeks to analyse the main obstacles to Franco-German cooperation in global development and how these play out in practice. To this end, it provides an assessment of Franco-German cooperation in support of global sustainable development in general, as well as in two particular cases. These are the Sahel Alliance, founded on a French initiative and confirmed by France, Germany and the European Union in 2017 with a view to increasing coordination and effectiveness to the benefit of development and security in five Sahel countries; and a second initiative providing assistance to developing and emerging countries in conceiving and implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the NDC Partnership. The NDC Partnership was launched at the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakesh in 2016 on an initiative by Germany, Morocco and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Against this backdrop, the study formulates policy recommendations as to how Franco-German cooperation could be enhanced to the benefit of global development.
  • Topic: Security, Development, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, North Africa