French President Jacques Chirac, pictured, recived an unusual present of a beer mug to mark his final EU summit.
What to get the French president who has everything and is at his last EU summit? German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided the answer was an antique beerstein.
At festivities for the 50th anniversary of the European Union Sunday, the German chancellor presented the French president Chirac with a rare 18th century mug during a luncheon for the 27 EU leaders.
"We gave him a beer mug to add to his collection," abeamingMerkel told reporters after hosting a summit on the 50th anniversary of the EU's founding Treaty of Rome.
"It's a piece of history," she said, noting that it dated from a time when "Napoleon was fighting in Egypt."
"He has left his mark on Europe in a very positive sense," she said. "There was a very generous round of applause for him" from the other EU leaders.
Chirac congratulated Merkel for hosting the European birthday party in Berlin, which included cultural events over the weekend throughout the capital and the signing of a declaration on the bloc's principles and goals.
And he thanked her for her presidency of the EU, which runs to June 30, saying the union could not move forward without Franco-German cooperation.
"No progress in Europe is possible if there is not agreement between France and Germany," Chirac said, calling the city of Berlin a "symbol of Franco-German reconciliation".
"If there is Franco-German agreement, things move forward, more or less quickly, but if you do not, you have gridlock."
The 74-year-old Chirac, who has been active in French politics for more than 40 years, ruled out seeking a third term as president this month.