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France/Germany

Sarkozy and Merkel inject new life into alliance

Article published on the 2010-02-04 Latest update 2010-02-04 15:23 TU

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel kissing at the Elysee Palace in Paris on 4 February(Photo: Reuters)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel kissing at the Elysee Palace in Paris on 4 February
(Photo: Reuters)

After a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday morning, the two countries have revealed a list of 80 measures designed to reinforce their cooperation until 2020.

The initiatives include a Franco-German office for renewable energy, an electric vehicle pilot project between Strasbourg and Stuttgart, the launch of a joint satellite designed to detect greenhouse gases, work on a European space rocket, an agreement on marital status and police cooperation.

Sarkozy indicated that France and Germany would submit “common propositions” on the economic governance of the European Union, at the informal meeting of Heads of State in Brussels on 11 February.

According to the declaration, the two countries would push the European Union to adopt proposals for the calculation of economic growth based on work by the Stiglitz-Sen commission.

The two leaders also agreed to ensure the future of the delayed A400M military transport plane, which has left its manufacturer Airbus behind schedule and over-budget. Merkel told a joint press conference it was a project of “strategic importance”.

In other areas of cooperation, both countries agreed to increase the number of doctorate students in French-German universities and research centres, to work together against illegal immigration, and to combat drug trafficking.

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