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Germany, France to improve economic coordination

French President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the France embassy in Berlin, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. They meet as part of events marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Elysee Treaty, a landmark accord cementing reconciliation between the two European powers. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany and France plan to work together on proposals on how to improve economic coordination in the European Union this spring as the continent struggles to overcome its debt crisis and generate growth.

Merkel said after meeting French President Francois Hollande Tuesday the two countries are "aware of our great responsibility" to end the crisis and make growth possible. She says they're both convinced competitiveness is hugely significant.

She says the two countries plan to come up with proposals by May.

Germany and France are marking 50 years of an accord that enshrined the two former adversaries' post-World War II reconciliation with a joint Cabinet meeting and a joint session of the countries' parliaments.

The 1963 Elysee Treaty marked a milestone for the two former foes.