Germany and France want more industrial cooperation

The governments in Berlin and Paris want to work more closely together on key technologies such as hydrogen. Germany and France are also looking for a European response to the new US investment law.

In the future, there will be closer cooperation between Germany and France in important key technologies such as hydrogen technology, battery cell production and healthcare. This was announced today in Paris by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

A Franco-German alliance is necessary in order to develop European sovereignty and to meet the challenges such as Russia’s war against Ukraine, high energy prices and changing global competition, said Habeck: “Together we want to provide impetus for a European industrial policy that strengthens our future viability.”

Concern about competitiveness

Part of this new strategy is, for example, the establishment of a new European platform for transformation technologies in order to strengthen Europe’s innovative power. Both countries also want to cooperate closely on the subject of raw materials in the future in order to make the European Union independent.

In addition, France and Germany are calling for a European response to the new US investment law. “Europe must also find a common response to the US ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ so that our companies can compete,” explained Habeck. The aim is the rapid expansion of industrial production capacities in Germany and Europe for technologies that are needed for the energy transition.

What is the Inflation Reduction Act?

The United States’ “Inflation Reduction Act” is a $370 billion aid program that aims, among other things, to strengthen renewable energies and industry in the fight against climate change. It is the largest global warming investment in US history.
To receive funds from the bailout, companies must invest and manufacture in the United States. The EU reacted with alarm: The European Union fears that European companies could also relocate their production overseas to benefit from the funds.

Recently clear discords

In December, EU representatives are to travel to the United States and present European concerns about the US aid program. In a joint paper, Germany and France also made it clear that the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) must be observed.

Habeck’s visit to Paris is one of a series of Franco-German meetings this week intended to get the troubled relationship between the two countries back on track. The fact that French President Emmanuel Macron also received the German Vice-Chancellor to discuss economic issues was also a sign of an effort to clear up discord.

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