After Das Progressive Zentrum received a first delegation of the new Assemblée nationale in October 2017, the Franco-German dialogue was further deepened during the weekend. Parliamentary tandems from both countries met in the German capital on Friday, before traveling to several German constituencies.
After the consecutive renewals of the Assemblée nationale and of the Bundestag in the year 2017, Das Progressive Zentrum initiated a Franco-German parliamentary dialogue in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the German Federal Foreign Office. A first parliamentary delegation from France visited Berlin in October 2017, in order to better understand the German political system and to revitalise the Franco-German cooperation. The French MPs came back to Berlin on 2 March 2018, before discovering nine German constituencies, together with their German colleagues.
Thirty parliamentarians out of nine parliamentary groups
This second parliamentary meeting brought together about thirty German and French MPs of nine parliamentary groups. On the French side, four out of seven parliamentary groups were represented: La République en Marche (LREM), La France Insoumise (LFI), Les Républicains (LR) and the MoDem. On the German side, members of the SPD, the CDU, the FDP, DIE LINKE and BÜNDNIS 90/Die Grünen participated in the dialogue. All members of the French delegation were newly elected in 2017, and four of them had already taken part in the first journey in October. The German group consisted of both new and re-elected MPs.
Discovery of the political Berlin
After the breakfast in the German Bundestag, the French MPs accompanied their German colleagues in the plenary hall, where they followed the debate about the draft law of the AFD “German as national language” on the VIP stand. Simone Barrientos (DIE LINKE) used the opportunity toofficially welcome the delegation in her speech.
The French delegation was subsequently guided through the Reichstag building and could familiarize with the German parliamentary system. By invitation of the chairman of the Franco-German friendship group Andreas Jung (CDU), the MPs could further exchange during lunch in the German Parliamentary Society. There, they were received by Andreas Görgen, Director General of the Cultural Affairs and Communication department of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Round table about the deepening of the parliamentary dialogue
On Friday afternoon, the MPs discussed with Claire Gloaguen and Jan Schlichting, coordinators of the Franco-German parliamentary work group dealing with the Élysée Treaty, in the office of Das Progressive Zentrum. The debates focused on the deepening of the Franco-German cooperation on the parliamentary level, and were moderated by Daniel Schade, professor and researcher of comparative politics at the University Magdeburg.
Visit of the German constituencies
The Franco-German tandems spend the Saturday in the German constituencies. Personalised programs were organized in cooperation with the constituency offices, basing on the working subjects of the respective MPs. For example, Michelle Müntefering (SPD), who was appointed Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office two weeks later, and her French colleague Delphine O (LREM) participated in the opening of the 25th week of women of Herne. Fabio de Masi (DIE LINKE) and Danièle Obono (LFI) discussed the new political landscape in France and the future of the left parties in Europe during a conference in Hamburg. Manuel Sarrazin (BÜNDNIS 90/Die Grünen) and Liliana Tanguy (LREM), deputy chairperson of the EU-Committee in the Assemblée nationale, as well as Rüdiger Kruse (CDU) and Marie Lebec (LREM) visited e.g. the port of Hamburg. Albert Weiler (CDU) and Aurélien Pradié (LR) visited a farm and a day-care center in Thuringia.
Despite the short duration of their visit, the French MPs could take home many experiences and best practices. The tandems discussed the further steps of the Franco-German parliamentary dialogue and the future visit of a French constituency is already planned for several members of the Bundestag. Various common projects were already launched.