Brussels, 22 Jan 2003
'Germany and France are today the motor and role model for long term European research cooperation in many areas,' German Research Minister Edelgard Bulmahn has declared.
Speaking in Berlin on 21 January, in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty, a friendship treaty between France and Germany, on 22 January 1963, Ms Bulmahn highlighted the achievements of Franco-German cooperation.
'Cooperation has, over the years, led to the development of a dense network of relations - at a bilateral level as well as in the framework of the European Union, European research organisations and at an international level.'
Successful joint initiatives include physics research institute Laue-Langevin, collaboration in aeronautics and aerospace research, the European synchrotron radiation facility in Grenoble and joint universities.
More recently, the 'forum for German-French research cooperation' opened in February 2002 in Paris and, according to Ms Bulmahn, is putting forward many promising initiatives, including research into plant genomes and reducing noise pollution from traffic.
The countries are working together to dismantle all barriers to mobility between French and German universities, to further the idea of joint doctorate programmes and to develop Franco-German as well as European university courses.
Ms Bulmahn finished by saying that she is optimistic about the future of education and research cooperation both at a European level and between France and Germany.