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02.3 Program for the Study of Germany and Europe

Structure as Process: The Regularized Intergovernmentalism of Franco-German Bilateralism

2002 Ulrich Krotz


This article systematically scrutinizes the intergovernmental and administrative aspects of Franco- German relations with the 1963 Elysée Treaty at their core. This treaty, together with its various additions and extensions, has defined the basic processes of bilateral interaction between the French and German states. Recurrent tension in Franco-German relations notwithstanding, many observers and participants have viewed France and Germany to be connected particularly closely since the 1960s. This article explores key elements of what it is that links France and Germany. Thereby it clarifies the concept of regularized intergovernmentalism, suggests viewing this specific set of international practices from a social-structural perspective, and evaluates the effects and limits of such regularized procedures. Its findings suggest that bilateral structures have complemented and undergirded a broadly multilateral post-World War II world and are likely to continue to do .