The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and the French energy agency ADEME have welcomed the proposal to redraft the Franco-German friendship accord, also known as the Elysée Treaty, in 2018. The German Bundestag and French national assembly intend to pass a resolution to this effect on 22 January 2018 – the 55th anniversary of the agreement. The updated version is intended to give added impetus to Franco-German relationships and, among other aims, to boost cooperation between the countries in energy and climate policy.
‘The energy transition is a European development project that should be at the heart of Franco-German cooperation. That’s why we welcome the idea of moving the topics of climate and energy to centre stage in the new Elysée Treaty,’ says Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive of dena. In future, in addition to consultations at government level, expert committees of the two parliaments should closely coordinate their activities at joint sittings. ‘In this way, this important instrument for strengthening the Franco-German partnership can also contribute towards the completion of the European energy union,’ Kuhlmann goes on to say. ‘dena would be happy to participate alongside the ADEME and other collaborative partners to bring this initiative to life, by committing ourselves to bringing border regions closer together.’
‘A stronger collaboration between Germany and France gives us a unique opportunity to progress the energy transition in Europe. In the process, concrete projects can serve as models for other EU member states,’ says François Moisan, Executive Director for Strategy and International Affairs at ADEME. ‘In particular, initiatives such as creating a cross-border smart grid, or expanding the roles of the so-called ‘Euro-districts’ as transnational regions can contribute to this objective. The ADEME, which already supports French regions in the field of sustainable development, is happy to bring its own experience to the collaboration with dena.’
‘Smart Border Initiative’ reveals advantages of cross-border collaboration
Since 2015, concrete bilateral energy projects have already materialised under the umbrella of the Franco-German Energy Platform – a joint project between dena and the French energy agency ADEME. The potential for such projects is particularly great in border regions. The ‘Smart Border Initiative’ exemplifies this precisely. It shows the advantages of a cross-border collaboration in action in the Franco-German border region Saarland/Lorraine. Among other things, the first transnational smart grid at distribution network level is being created there.
The Elysée Treaty was concluded in 1963 between German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French State President Charles de Gaulle. It forms the basis for Franco-German collaboration at governmental level. As early as September 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron put forward a proposal to sign a new version of the treaty on its 55th anniversary, as part of a new partnership between Germany and France.
The Franco–German Energy Platform
dena established the Franco-German Energy Platform in collaboration with the French energy agency, Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie (ADEME). The aim of the platform is to develop collaborative projects for a sustainable energy supply – involving partners from both countries. The focus is on the areas of energy efficiency, energy grids, renewable energy sources and mobility. In this way, concrete projects will develop common solutions to the challenges of today’s energy politics, which are intended to serve as a model for the whole of Europe.
The ‘Smart Border Initiative’
Integrated energy systems play a decisive role in achieving the aims of German and French energy policy and the energy union. As ever, borders continue to present obstacles to this. In the showcase project ‘Smart Border Initiative’, the European regions of Mosel and the Saarland – adjoining one other, but separated by a border – are being empowered to connect their energy systems and develop them cooperatively. The project was developed in collaboration with the distribution system operators Innogy and Enedis and other project partners from both countries, under the umbrella of the Franco-German Energy Platform.