France, Germany call for “renewed impetus” in European industrial policy

France and Germany called on Tuesday for a European Union (EU) industrial policy that enables European companies to thrive at the global level through technological leadership.

In a joint statement issued by France’s Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, the two countries said that a European approach to challenges such as the United States Inflation Reduction Act should be closely coordinated.

The two ministers also reaffirmed their determination to “pursue and engage in an ambitious, competitiveness-seeking future-oriented European industrial policy” aimed at boosting European strategic sovereignty.

France and Germany will work together on artificial intelligence and quantum computing through two high-level working groups, they announced.

Faced with unprecedented energy price hikes, the ministers said they would work jointly on supporting the most vulnerable economic sectors.

“We commit to coordinating and aligning our support to companies most hit by the energy crisis, within the framework set by the European Commission in order to prevent any breach to a fair level playing field within the internal market,” they said in the joint statement.

The two countries will also implement joint purchases of gas through long-term contracts, to achieve lower prices for consumers and industry.

Franco-German cooperation will focus on key strategic sectors, such as hydrogen, and developing cheaper, safer and more efficient new lithium-ion battery technologies, according to the two ministers.

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