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News from 2018-01-19 / Group, KfW Development Bank

55 years of the Elysée Treaty: cooperation with French promotional banks

On 22 January 1963 German Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle signed an agreement on Franco-German cooperation at the Elysée Palace in Paris, which has gone down in history as the Elysée Treaty. Both heads of state thus not only sealed economic cooperation between France and Germany in 1963, but also lasting peace in Europe.

The Elysée-Treaty intensified KfW's European engagement, considering that KfW already supported loans to the German coal and steel industry between 1954 and 1960 from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the seed of today's European Union. It also showed the way forward for today's cooperation between KfW and its French partners. The points recorded in the treaty included:

Amongst others, it was recorded that: "The two Governments will study together the means for strengthening their cooperation within the framework of the Common Market in other important sectors of economic policy, such as agricultural and forest policy; energy policy; communications and transport, industrial development,; as well as export credit policy" and "With regard to aid to developing countries, both Governments will systematically compare their programmes with a view to maintaining close cooperation. They will study the possibility of engaging in joint undertakings."

As the largest German promotional bank, KfW works together with French promotional institutions to perform these tasks. Unlike in Germany, the government in France tasks three institutions with economic promotion: Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), Bpifrance and Agence Francaise de Développement (AFD). The good and trusting cooperation that KfW developed with all three promotional institutions has grown over the years. KfW, CDC, Bpifrance, AFD and the Italian promotional bank "Cassa Depositi e Prestiti" maintain a joint EU representative office in Brussels.

Further information

Special Topics "Europe"

Statements, documents and videos on KfW's European commitment

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KfW has many tasks. As a promotional bank, KfW Group supports change and encourages forward-looking ideas – in Germany, Europe and throughout the world.

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Dr Velibor Marjanovic (Senior Vice President at KfW) explains in an interview the purpose of a promotional bank in general and the impacts of KfW on the economy in particular.

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