Emmanuel Macron embarks on the first state visit to Germany by a French president in 24 years this Sunday, marking a significant three-day event celebrating Franco-German friendship.

Macron is set to arrive in Berlin at 2 pm (1200 GMT), beginning his visit in the government district at the “Democracy Festival.” This event celebrates the 75th anniversary of Germany’s Basic Law, the democratic constitution adopted in West Germany after World War II when the region was occupied by the victorious Western Allies, including France, Britain, and the United States.

At the festival, Macron will join German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in an on-stage discussion. Following this, Macron will proceed to Steinmeier’s official residence, Bellevue Palace, where he will be honored with a military ceremony. The two presidents will then hold a joint press conference in the late afternoon.

The evening will feature a walk through the Brandenburg Gate with Berlin Mayor Kai Wagner, followed by a state banquet at Bellevue Palace.

This visit precedes the European elections for the next European Parliament. Far-right parties have gained significant support in recent years in both France and Germany and are expected to perform well in the upcoming June 6-9 polls.

The Paris-Berlin relationship has been pivotal in European policymaking. However, tensions surfaced in 2022 after Angela Merkel’s departure from German politics. Recently, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have taken steps to enhance cooperation, finding common ground on issues like EU debt and deficit reform. Nevertheless, disagreements remain, particularly concerning military aid for Ukraine and the EU’s economic responses to protectionist policies from China and the United States.

These and other contentious issues will be addressed in a meeting of French and German ministers on Tuesday.

On Monday, Macron and his wife Brigitte will travel to Dresden, where he will deliver a speech on European policy at the Frauenkirche, a symbol of post-war reconciliation. On Tuesday, they will head to Münster, where Macron will receive the Peace of Westphalia Prize.

Macron, who has been in power for seven years, is unable to run for a third term in the 2027 presidential election.

This state visit is the first by a French president to Germany since 2000, despite frequent informal meetings between leaders of the two countries. Macron had originally planned the visit for last July, but it was postponed due to nationwide unrest in France following the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old, which shocked the nation.