55th Anniversary of the Franco-German Friendship Treaty (Elysee Treaty)
On January 22, 1963, eighteen years after the end of World War II, at the Elysee Palace in Paris was signed the treaty of friendship between France and West Germany by President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Its main goal was the establishment of a new foundation for relations that ended centuries of rivalry between these two neighbouring countries, with a special focus on important questions concerning defence, education, and youth issues.
As a result of this treaty, the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ/DFJW) was subsequently founded in the same year, in 1963. OFAJ is an organization which serves to foster Franco-German cooperation and promotes reconciliation and mutual understanding between young people from France and Germany. Since then, the OFAJ has enabled more than 8 million young people from France and Germany to get to know and to improve their knowledge about the partner's language and culture. OFAJ has continuously supported the Western Balkans countries involving them in various youth programmes.
Following the successful example of the OFAJ, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), founded in 2016 at the Paris Summit, within the framework of the Berlin Process, aims to promote similar principles as the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation in the Balkan region through youth exchange.
Cooperation and Development Institute in collaboration with Centre International de Formation Europeene(CIFE) and with the generous support of the OFAJ organized in Berlin, November 2017, the first workshop of the trilateral exchange programme "Ideas and Action for Europe: Energy and Environment in the 21st Century". Next phases are scheduled to be held in Dijon (February 2018) and in Tirana (May 2018).The Elysee Treaty, in a way, laid the ground for this project and many upcoming ones which intend to connect the youngsters.