A focal point is to be a joint Council of Ministers attended by the Cabinet ministers of the two nations and a joint session of the German Bundestag and the French Assemblée Nationale. The festive highlight will be a concert hosted by the German Federal President.
Discussion with young people
As of 19 January young people from Germany, France and other countries will be involved in discussions in Berlin on "50 years of Franco-German friendship in Europe – shaping the future together".
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande would like to hear their concerns, their hopes and their ideas first hand. The first point on their programme is to be a meeting with German and French young people on 21 January, the evening before the Council of Ministers.
Topical problem – the situation in Mali
Only after this meeting will Angela Merkel and her guest turn their attention to the most urgent political issues of the moment. Bilateral talks are likely to focus on the situation in Mali.
Germany supports French action in Mali and will be providing two Bundeswehr Transall aircraft. Another point on the agenda will be the European Union training mission for Mali’s armed forces.
Culture brings us together
Tuesday morning will kick off with an issue that is not always taken to the top. The Chancellor and the President will meet representatives of French and German cultural life at the French Embassy in Berlin. Germany and France have always an enjoyed a lively and vibrant cultural exchange.
How do German and French film-makers see the Franco-German tandem today? How does the neighbouring country influence the work of a choreographer? How can politicians better support the cultural sector? Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande are looking forward to an interesting discussion.
Political highlight – the Council of Ministers
In the late morning of 22 January, the 15th Franco-German Council of Ministers will be held at the Federal Chancellery. It will be an exciting event – the French and German pairs of ministers will be reporting on their bilateral talks.
Discussions will also embrace security, foreign and defence policy, economic and social issues and youth, culture, education and research. At a joint press conference the Chancellor and the President will report on the session and comment on topical issues.
Joint session in the Reichstag building
Then Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande will be taking part in the official joint session of the German Bundestag and the French Assemblée Nationale along with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and all Cabinet ministers. At the start of the session the President and the Chancellor will both hold a speech.
They will not only be looking back. It is the importance of the Franco-German friendship for the future of Europe even in view of current challenges that will be central to all events.