France/Franco-German Relations Program

The DGAP’s program on France/ Franco-German relations is an academically serious and highly connected establishment geared toward policy makers and the public. It was founded in 1989.

The program team’s focus remains French foreign policy and French European policy, but it is increasingly taking the main themes of French domestic policy into account as well. In addition, the program continues its ongoing analysis of Franco-German relations, giving particular attention to how the two countries function within the European context and their areas of cooperation within the 28-member European Union.

On broader questions of European policy, the program on France/ Franco-German relations sees itself as an organization capable of mediating between French and German positions.

The program organizes meetings of experts several times a year as part of its regular Discussion Groups on France and Franco-German Relations. In addition to panel discussions geared toward the public, it also organizes informal sessions. It regularly publishes at the research institute on themes of relevance to Franco-German relations in the “DGAPanalysis” format, in addition to making its research available to a wider public through professional journals and the general media.

Current Areas of Focus


  • The Challenges of German Leadership

    New Geopolitical Balances and Constancy of the European Choice

    von Claire Demesmay, Andreas Marchetti | Germany, European Union
    Hérodote, Revue de Géographie et de Géopolitique, No. 175 (Quatrième trimestre 2019): L’Allemagne, 30 ans après, p. 55-67.

    From 1989 to 2019, Germany stood by its most fundamental geopolitical choices. In particular, it confirmed its willingness to be anchored in the institutional framework of political Europe and remained committed to shared leadership with France. However, it is still far from comfortable with its new responsibilities, linked to its new centrality in Europe. This contribution aims to establish in which areas and in which form the Federal Republic has exercised leadership in Europe since the upheavals of 1989/1991.

  • Sustaining Multilateralism in a Multipolar World

    What France and Germany Can Do to Preserve the Multilateral Order

    von Claire Demesmay, Claudia Schmucker, Elvire Fabry, Carole Mathieu, Eric-André Martin
    Notes du Cerfa, No. 148, Ifri, June 2019, Claire Demesmay, Barbara Kunz, (ed.), 32 pp.

    Sustaining Multilateralism in a Multipolar World

    While international multilateralism is under strain, it is vital for France and Germany to defend it, since it is the most appropriate system for preserving their interests – particularly in terms of welfare, security, prosperity and environmental protection. Against this backdrop, three political fields offer opportunities for joint initiatives: trade, conventional arms control and climate change.

  • Straddling between Optimism and Mistrust

    France’s Youth Doubts Reform Successes

    von Julie Hamann, Sara Jakob | France, Reform
    DGAPanalysis 7 (November 2018), 11 pp.

    Straddling between Optimism and Mistrust

    For many young people in France, President Macron’s reforms failed to alleviate their social anxieties. Unemployment remains high, employment conditions precarious, and what started as a protest against new fuel taxes quickly spilled over to other reform areas including social policy. Macron will need to gain the youngsters’ trust ahead of the European Parliament election – not least because its outcome will decisively shape his domestic credibility, and consequently, his political fate.