Franco-German Day

Every year, Franco-German Day is celebrated in Germany on January 22. This day commemorates the reconciliation between the two countries following the end of World War II and is often marked by special events in both Germany and France. Back in the 1960s, the two countries signed a treaty that laid the foundation for mutual trust and the exchange of ideas.

Some 59+ years later, that foundation has proven to be quite strong, as school student exchanges, cultural events, and other activities are shared between the two nations. This is a day when Germans and French citizens renew their friendship with one another.

The History of Franco-German Day

On January 22, 1963, the first Chancellor of West Germany, Konrad Adenauer, and French statesman Charles de Gaulle signed the Élysée Treaty. This treaty outlined the friendship between France and West Germany and established a foundation for their relations. Prior to and during World War II, Franco-German relations were characterized by enmity, which means there was natural hostility and rivalry between the two countries.

With the signing of this treaty, that notion changed. The treaty required both countries to consult with one another on important questions of education, defense, and youth issues. It also mandated high-ranking government officials from both countries to meet twice a year. Today, Franco-German Day commemorates this historical event and calls for the continued friendship between France and Germany.

Some Important Facts About German-French Relations

Below are just some of the facts that we’ve learned about German-French relations while researching Franco-German Day. We hope the following points are informative to all of our readers and will encourage them to conduct further research on this subject for themselves. With that being said, let’s delve into the following facts, shall we?

  • There is a specific office for dealing with Franco-German relations: the Franco-German Youth Office or FGYO.
  • The FGYO is an international organization that has enabled almost 10 million young people from France and Germany to participate in nearly 400,000 student exchange programs.
  • The Treaty of Aachen was signed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 22, 2019.
  • The Treaty of Aachen updated Franco-German integration and cooperation.

Observing Franco-German Day

During this day, the cooperation between these two countries is reemphasized for everyone’s benefit. This includes foreign student exchanges, language programs, and other cultural events.

It is also the day for Germans to reach out to French citizens in a spirit of cooperation. The hashtag #FrancoGermanDay can be used on social media to raise awareness about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Germany (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 22 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 22 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 22 Sunday