PARIS --- For decades, the German-French friendship has made possible a close and exemplary cooperation between our two countries.
France and Germany adhere to the conclusions of the European Council of 25 and 26 June 2015 for the strengthening of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and wish to make a significant contribution.
The changes and recent developments in the international security environment pose major challenges to European security and defense policy.
France and Germany together share the essential responsibility to address these challenges and wish to further intensify their cooperation in this field.
Close Franco-German relations have also involved, for the past forty years, cooperation in the defense industry. Based on Franco-German treaties, this cooperation has contributed significantly to building a European defense industrial and technology base which, in future, will contribute to maintaining our common defense capabilities.
The close defense cooperation between France and Germany in the field of defense helps preserve our defense capability in the interest of peace, freedom, security and stability. In this sense, our two governments support the decision of the companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Sytems to cooperate.
On this occasion, we declare together:
I. Franco-German industrial cooperation
France and Germany are determined to strengthen European security and defense through bilateral and ever-closer European cooperation, and to remain together a driving force of European defense policy.
The Franco-German Agenda 2020 sets out an ambitious program for intensifying our relations, including a dialogue on defense industry issues.
The Franco-German industrial cooperation is also demonstrated by our support to the industry and its leaders, possibly involving other European partners, to create corporations and transnational groups that will be among the industrial and technological leaders in their fields.
Such decisions are the responsibility of companies. This cooperation should also be used to consolidate and to further develop the European defense industry and technological base. It is also necessary to strengthen the framework of conditions and instruments to improve international competitiveness.
II. Regular consultations on military-industrial policy issues
The close cooperation between France and Germany requires regular consultation on industrial policy issues in the field of armaments, allowing each country to protect its interests in a process of consolidation and industrial modernization.
We will conduct this strategic discussion in the light of changes in the defense industry and on the basis of contacts with the same industry in our two countries.
As part of regular Franco-German consultations, we will discuss important decisions on technologies for military use and on the defense industry, including industry consolidation projects.
At the same time, we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining key industrial technologies located in France and Germany. The common goal is the maintenance and development of these key technologies and skills in these two countries, taking into account other aspects related to employment policy.
III. Cooperation in the development and procurement of defense equipment
We believe that the preparation and conduct of joint weapons programs, it is necessary to advance the harmonization of the requirements for our national capabilities, and the necessary industrial and technological convergence as required.
France and Germany have set as their goal the search for joint projects in the fields of training, equipment, employment doctrine and interoperability. Our two countries also seek greater convergence in the definition of military operational needs and the harmonization of military equipment qualification procedures, as well as guaranteeing a continuous dialogue between prescribers and providers to promote the development of Franco-German and European joint projects.
In doing so, we aspire to pursue associating with our joint cooperation projects both suppliers and partners, taking into account the technological and operational capabilities, and the economic efficiency, of the European Defence Agency (EDA).
France and Germany will conduct continuous exchanges of views on key technological skills to maintain and strengthen Europe. This dialogue does not exclude cooperation with other partners.
IV. Joint purchasing initiatives
We will pursue the goal of jointly implementing new acquisition programs. The definition and development of joint weapons projects will contribute to the improved integration in the field of military capabilities, and strengthen Europe’s capability to act.
Joint development and acquisition is the highest possible degree of standardization, and will lead in the medium and long term to closer cooperation and, ultimately, to a consolidation of the defense industry in Europe.
For joint projects, we want to develop and improve existing structures, including OCCAR, so as to reduce costs and improve our international competitiveness. Our coordinated action must ensure the maintenance of the armaments industry expertise in Europe.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and middle sized companies (ETI) are the indispensable partners of prime contractors. Accordingly, we undertake to facilitate access to shared value-creation chains.
V. Cooperation in the new joint venture KMW / Nexter
Maintaining large industrial capabilities in Europe may require increased cross-border restructuring of the defense industry and security.
The strategic cooperation between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Sytems is, we believe, an important step towards further Franco-German cooperation, the aim being to preserve and strengthen the competitiveness of our industries and their technological capacities, as well as the potential of European innovation in the field of security and ground defense.
Together, we hope that the creation of this new joint venture company, with a stable European ownership structure, will reflect our aspirations for development and technology.
With regard to decisions concerning the future of the supply chain and of the key technologies of the joint venture company, France and Germany will consult in due time in order to reach a consensus.
To increase the economic efficiency of the joint venture company, we will examine opportunities to improve the framework conditions and the instruments that strengthen its international competitiveness.
Click here for the French-language original version (5 PDF pages) on the French Economy Ministry website.