Germany and France, the two most powerful members of the European Union, on Wednesday celebrated 40 years since the Elysee Treaty was signed by Adenauer and de Gaulle, forming the springboard for Europe’s achievements to date. The Franco-German model of cooperation, which passed through many phases until its consolidation, sends a common message to all Europeans – that we have already achieved a great deal together and can achieve much more. The recent Chirac-Schroeder proposal for a «dual EU presidency» appeals more or less to member states depending on their size and prospects. The good thing is that the debate has begun, and this bodes well for the 25 members reaching a commonly acceptable solution. But even more significant is the readiness France and Germany have shown to work together toward a common future, overcoming their individual interests and aspirations. And so Berlin and Paris have signaled to Europe, and the rest of the world, that they are determined to fight together to reinforce the structure of Europe. Of course, the process of integration and consolidation is often a slow one – which the fast-moving USA regards as a disadvantage for a bloc aiming to play an influential role on the world stage. But Paris and Berlin, Europe’s «powerhouse,» do not believe in making rash moves or decisions under pressure. Their slogan is: Toward the future, together and without haste.