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France, Germany to boost technology cooperation

France and Germany have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in several future-oriented technology development initiatives, including both civilian and military projects ranging from e-mobility to satellites.

Following a ministerial meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, France and Germany announced they would intensify cooperation in crucial industries, with a view to boosting employment and growth.

Ministers of both nations agreed on a list of nine joint investment programs related to smart energy grids, the broader use of renewables, e-mobility and digitalization. French President Francois Hollande and his host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the investment initiative would take into consideration the interests of small and medium-sized companies in both nations.

The two leaders agreed that investments in pivotal industries could prove a powerful tool to help struggling eurozone economies get on their feet again.

Self-defense?

Berlin and Paris confirmed they would sign a technical agreement on the development of a European drone, jointly with Italy. A feasibility study will be commissioned soon. The agreed aim is to complete the drone's development by 2025.

he two countries also agreed to cooperate in France's new Earth observation military satellite program.

Reuters reported that Germany was planning to pony up 210 million euros ($228 million) for the scheme, in return for more access to images captured by the reconnaissance system.

hg/nz (Reuters, dpa)

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