France and Germany to seal new deal as Brexit looms
France and Germany are to sign a new treaty on Tuesday aimed at breathing new life into their place at the centre of the European Union.
As the UK moves to leave the EU and a rising tide of populism challenges the core liberal values of the bloc, the new treaty commits wholeheartedly to defending it.
There is rich symbolism in the signing in the German city of Aachen, which has changed hands over the centuries and is known in French as Aix-la-Chapelle.
But will it ultimately change anything?
In the draft, France and Germany agree to establish common positions and issue joint statements on major EU issues - formalising their existing co-operation. They also plan to act as a joint force at the United Nations.
From foreign policy to internal and external security, the two nations commit to coming up with common positions while seeking to bolster "Europe's capacity to act autonomously".
The two countries commit to:
For young people, there is agreement to focus on cultural exchanges and increase learning of each other's languages, with the aim of a Franco-German university.
There are also plans for closer cross-border links and greater "bilingualism" on both sides of the borders.
Many of these aspirations have been heard before.