22 January, 2013

50 years of something

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty between France and Germany, signed all those years ago by de Gaulle and Adenauer. There is a joint meeting of the French and German parliaments and quite a few dewy eyed romantics have sobbed about the wonders of the thing. It is of course part of the EU-myth that you have to have treaties and regulations in order not to have war.

In fact when the Elysée Treaty was signed France and Germany had already not been at war for 17 years without any of this new best friend guff. And I remember in a campsite in France some years after the Treaty, watching a French mother rush out and drag her children away because they were talking to German children.

When the Treaty was signed Adenauer and de Gaulle agreed to disagree on how Europe should develop and those disagreements persist to this day. They did agree not to have any hostilities, as did America and Japan, Peru and Sweden, Cape Verde and Canada and indeed as France and Germany did in 1918.

Not such a big deal, really. I should have thought it an ideal time for Mr Cameron to make his Europe speech, but that is for tomorrow.

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