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Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Published on October 14, 2020

Communiqué from the Presidency of the Republic (Elysée Palace, Paris – October 13, 2020)

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, European Commissioner Thierry Breton, German and French Economy Ministers Peter Altmaier and Bruno Le Maire, as well as European business leaders, today discussed measures to strengthen the development of future technologies in Europe and to reduce our dependency. Both video conferences focused on hydrogen and digital issues, including 5G and cloud infrastructure. Germany and France agreed to improve cooperation in these areas and to consider joint projects to be financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility established by the European Union. Both countries underscored the importance of cross-border projects and the opening up of this cooperation to other member states.

With respect to hydrogen, the discussion focused on ways to support the growth in industrial technologies using hydrogen through targeted measures and an appropriate regulatory framework. The goal is for European companies to play a leading role by accelerating the development of their technological solutions in new markets. To that end, the video conference notably focused on enhanced cooperation on the development and large-scale production of electrolyzers, the use of hydrogen to decarbonize industrial sites, the development of a European value chain for key technologies and materials for heavy-duty transport and the development of hydrogen infrastructure. More generally, the participants stressed the need to implement effective mechanisms to combat carbon leakage and the importance of a comprehensive approach to the supply of electrical energy for hydrogen production. France and Germany are determined to take the next steps toward the official launch of an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on hydrogen by the end of 2020.

With respect to new digital technologies, the debate focused on the need to strengthen Europe’s industrial base. The goal is to develop and expand digital sovereignty and European expertise in microprocessors, communication technologies, artificial intelligence and reliable and competitive data infrastructure. The participants agreed to jointly examine the possibility of new collaborative projects in the areas of cloud infrastructure, 5G and artificial intelligence, as well as to play a leading role in future IPCEIs on cloud infrastructure and microelectronics.

The cooperation agreed upon today in the hydrogen and digital technology fields, notably with respect to 5G and data infrastructure is a strong signal in terms of strengthening European competitiveness in these cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, the two economy ministers will identify concrete projects that will help Europe make even more progress in these technology fields.

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