Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (left) with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire (right)

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (left) with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire (right)

© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

Minister Altmaier met in Berlin today with his French counterpart Le Maire to discuss current economic-policy issues, particularly regarding the future of European industrial policy. The topics included the establishment of battery cell manufacturing in Europe.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “Minister Le Maire and I jointly adopted a Manifesto for Industrial Policy today (PDF, 210 KB) today. We need a European industrial strategy to make our industry fit for tough global competition. This will be an important task for the Commission after the European elections. It is vital to provide targeted funding for key innovations, to create the right policy environment in areas like competition law, and – where necessary – to protect our key industries. We are talking about very specific cooperation: following the microelectronics project, we now also want to launch and support a European consortium for battery cell manufacturing. We need competitive, innovative and environmentally friendly battery cell manufacturing in Germany and Europe. In future, battery cells will account for a large proportion of value creation in the automotive industry – we have to play a part in this.”

In the Franco-German Manifesto for Industrial Policy, the two ministers renew the call to the next European Commission for a European industrial strategy. The Manifesto makes specific proposals for the establishment of the necessary policy environment for a strong European industrial sector, e.g. in the field of competition and state aids law, as well as in innovation policy.

The idea of funding key enabling technologies and strengthening entire value chains in order to enhance German and European competitiveness is also found in the draft of a National Industrial Strategy 2030, which Altmaier recently presented. Back in December 2018, Altmaier and Le Maire published joint ideas of industrial policy in a joint press statement and agreed on a paper regarding the funding of battery cell manufacturing in Europe. Altmaier has provided up to €1 billion from the Economic Affairs Ministry’s budget for interested consortia; for his part, Emmanuel Macron has promised €700 million from France.

You can find the Manifesto here (PDF, 210 KB).