Germany and France took their bilateral relations to a new level with the Treaty of Aachen in January 2019. Article 20 of the Treaty of Aachen stipulates that the Franco-German Economic and Financial Council (Deutsch-Französischer Finanz- und Wirtschaftsrat — DFFWR) will, among other things, regularly coordinate economic policy measures in order to promote convergence between the two countries and improve the competitiveness of their economies.
To support this process, an independent Franco-German Council of Economic Experts (FGCEE) was established. It consists of ten experts, five of whom are nominated respectively by the finance and economics ministers of each nation. Council members are appointed for a term of two years, with the possibility of reappointment. The Council is presided by two co-chairs, one from each nation.
In its work, the Council is bound only by its Terms of Reference and by the Treaty of Aachen. The Council reports to the Franco-German Economic and Financial Council (DFFWR) and draws up a work program in consultation with the DFFWR. The Council meets regularly to discuss current economic challenges. The results of these deliberations are regularly published in the form of expert opinions or statements.
In particular, it is envisaged that the Council will make recommendations to the German and French governments on economic policy issues that are in the common interest of both countries. Bilateral topics of prospective political importance lie, for example, in the fields of energy and climate policy, digitization, artificial intelligence, and innovation and industrial policy.