Berlin, Paris agree close-knit exchange and plan for new sanctions

(EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022) German and French governments have agreed to closer communication and cooperation on supporting the economy amid record-high energy prices and plans for new sanctions.

At a news conference on Thursday (31 March), Bruno Le Maire, France’s minister for the economy, announced the joint decision “cooperate very closely on the economic response,” while his German counterpart Robert Habeck noted that additional measures to alleviate the strain of energy prices on industry were in the pipeline.

Previously, both German and French governments – the former newly installed, the latter imminently up for re-election – had largely put consumer support measures in place.

Both countries subsidised petrol at upwards of 15 cents per litre.

On the one hand, the two governments would closely cooperate on supporting their energy-intensive industries while planning beyond the current crisis, Habeck explained.

The goal was a European “hydrogen backbone network,” he said.

In February, the French and German ministers had agreed to work toward the EU’s technical and economic sovereignty. Le Maire said it must be based on “common industrial projects”, such as electrical networks, electric batteries, and hydrogen.

The countries also agreed to implement working groups to resolve conflicts between their respective industrial and hydrogen strategies in a bid to further the two countries’ future economic cooperation.

External link

EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022: Berlin, Paris agree close-knit exchange and plan for new sanctions