Paris Treaties

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Speech on the Paris Treaties by Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in the German Bundestag on February 25, 1955

The Paris Treaties are an international treaty drawn up and adopted in 1954/55, which came into force on May 5, 1955, including the revised Germany Treaty . They ended the occupation regime in West Germany , which raised occupation statute and presented for the Federal Republic of Germany is a part of sovereignty ago. The state authority of the Federal Republic over its internal and external affairs remained limited insofar as the three Western powers retained their rights from the Berlin Declaration of 1945 with regard to all of Germany and Berlin . Restrictions due to allied reservation rights still existed after the reunification in 1990 until the entry into force of the Two-Plus-Four Treaty on March 15, 1991, but were declared suspended on October 2, 1990.

The contract contains a total of eleven contracts and agreements, including the following individual contracts:

Conclusion of contracts

Lancaster House

After the ratification of the Germany Treaty in the French National Assembly on August 30, 1954 , and with it the European Defense Community (EDC), alternative plans were discussed at two international conferences and put into treaty form, which the British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden had prepared. In Lancaster House in London's West End was held from 28 September to 3 October 1954 a nine-power conference, attended by the six EDC states, the United Kingdom , the United States and Canada participated. The governments of the USA ( Eisenhower cabinet ) and Great Britain ( Churchill III cabinet ) have declared their readiness to station armed forces on the European continent. The final conference on the London Act , the outcome of the conference, was scheduled for October 23, 1954 in Paris. At the Paris Foreign Ministers' Conference (October 19-23), the participating states passed the relevant treaties. Four different conferences in Paris formulated and discussed these contracts:

  • A conference of four discussed the end of the occupation regime;
  • a seven-power conference discussed the expansion of the Brussels Pact ;
  • A fifteen-power conference discussed the admission of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO ;
  • France and the Federal Republic discussed the Saar question and the Franco-German relationship.

The treaties were signed in Paris on October 23rd by the members of the Brussels Five Power Pact , the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy , ratified in the Bundestag on February 27th, 1955 , and entered into force on May 5th, 1955.

Sovereignty of Germany

The Paris Treaties of 1954 guaranteed the Federal Republic of Germany sovereignty in a negotiated system of promises and commitments. The Allied High Commission and the offices of the State Commissioners in the Federal Republic were dissolved, and the occupation statute was repealed. However, Germany's sovereignty was subject to significant restrictions. Several articles of the treaties opposed it (see Allied reservation rights after 1955 ). The Allied troops on the soil of the Federal Republic of Germany received contractually guaranteed special rights on the basis of the NATO treaties. The three Western Allies remained responsible for the area of ​​disarmament and “demilitarization” of Germany. The rights and responsibilities in relation to Berlin and Germany as a whole, including the reunification of Germany and a settlement based on a peace treaty , also remained in place (see four-power status ). In this context, the victorious powers declared that they basically wanted the federal government to participate in decisions of the occupying powers that affected Berlin , which was under four-power administration .

In the course of the negotiation rounds, a number of provisions were revised in the Germany Treaty of 1952, which could have been interpreted as restrictions on German sovereignty. The following have been deleted or changed:

  • the right of the three western victorious powers to station armed forces in the Federal Republic at their own discretion
  • the right of the three powers to declare a state of emergency and to take measures at their own discretion to restore order or to ensure the security of their armed forces, the so-called "emergency clause"
  • the powers of the planned arbitral tribunal to take measures within the Federal Republic in the field of lawmaking, jurisdiction and administration
  • a number of individual provisions in the transition agreement

Accession to WEU and NATO

Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany were included in the Brussels Pact, which was thus expanded to become the WEU, and included in its system of mutual military assistance. This created a system of arms control and set upper limits for the armed forces for each member country. At the same time, the Federal Republic announced its renouncement of NBC weapons . The USA, Great Britain and Canada pledged to leave armed forces on the European continent. The Federal Republic was admitted to NATO as a largely equal member state. All armed forces of the member states of NATO in Europe were subordinate to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe .

In the agreement on the Saar Statute, "Europeanization" was provided for the Saarland , which had been separated by France from the French occupation zone and then also from the Federal Republic, a solution that was in the French interest. However, this solution failed in the referendum.

On the day the Paris Treaties were signed, the three Western powers received a diplomatic note from the Soviet Union proposing a conference of four on the restoration of German unity . A European security conference was later proposed. Shortly before the first reading of the treaties in the Bundestag came the third note: If West German rearmament is decided, the Soviet Union will no longer discuss German unity.


The SPD -Parteivorsitzende Erich Ollenhauer demanded on 23 January 1955 in a letter to the Chancellor, we must test the offers of the Soviet Union before the ratification of the Paris Agreements to restore the unity of Germany by way of quadripartite negotiations. In the opinion of the SPD, the acceptance of the treaties consolidates the division of Germany. All Western governments, on the other hand, saw the Soviet advance as a disruptive and deceptive maneuver that was intended to prevent the ratification of the Paris Treaties.

The Paris Treaties and the Saar Statute were approved by the German Bundestag on February 27, 1955, against the votes of the Social Democrats; on March 18, 1955, the Bundesrat also approved . After ratification, the Germany Treaty came into force on May 5, 1955, and the day after the Federal Republic became a member of WEU and NATO.

The Soviet Union responded on May 14, 1955 with a conference in Warsaw, where it signed a "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" with Albania , Bulgaria , the GDR , Poland , Romania and Czechoslovakia , the Warsaw Pact .

After the rejection in the referendum, the European Saar Statute was replaced by the Franco-German Saar Agreement on October 17, 1956 . The Saarland was finally incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany on January 1st, 1957. The reservation rights of the former Western occupation powers with regard to the security of their armed forces stationed in the Federal Republic, which had been agreed in the Germany Treaty, expired with the constitutional amendments to the Basic Law of June 14, 1968, the “ Emergency Constitution ”.

Chronological order

in force
European Act
  Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif
European Communities Three pillars of the European Union
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Contract expired in 2002 European Union (EU)
    European Economic Community (EEC) European Community (EC)
      Justice and Home Affairs (JI)
  Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (PJZS)
European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Western Union (WU) Western European Union (WEU)    
dissolved on July 1, 2011


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ See Wilhelm Grewe , Germany Contract (reprint 1991), in: Heiner Timmermann (Ed.): Germany Contract and Paris Contracts. In the triangle of the Cold War, the German question and European security (=  documents and writings of the European Academy Otzenhausen , vol. 115), Lit Verlag, Münster 2003, p. 75–82, here p. 78 f.
  2. Breakdown of the complete contract work in Ellinor von Puttkamer : Prehistory and conclusion of the Paris Treaties of October 23, 1954 , ZaöRV 17 (1956/57), p. 448 ff. ( PDF ).
  3. Hanns Jürgen Küsters: Paris Contracts 1955. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV, accessed on July 16, 2018 .
  4. ^ Minutes of the 72nd session of the 2nd German Bundestag (PDF, 70 pages)
  5. Cf. Bruno Thoß , The Accession of the Federal Republic of Germany to WEU and NATO in the field of tension between bloc formation and relaxation , in: Hans Ehlert / Christian Greiner / Georg Meyer u. a. (Ed.): Beginnings of West German Security Policy. Volume 3: The NATO Option . Munich 1993, p. 57.
  6. See Abraham Ashkenasi, Reform Party and Foreign Policy. The foreign policy of the SPD Berlin-Bonn , Westdeutscher Verlag, Cologne / Opladen 1968, p. 44 .
  7. Manfred Görtemaker : Little History of the Federal Republic , Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16039-1 , p. 108.
  8. Federal Law Gazette 1968 No. 41 Announcement of the Declaration of the Three Powers of May 27, 1968 on the replacement of the Allied reservation rights in accordance with Article 5 Paragraph 2 of the Germany Treaty