Germany, France, and Italy will join forces and cooperate more on procuring raw materials, marking a new phase of trilateral collaboration on European industrial policy.
The announcement came during a meeting of economy and industrial ministers that took place on Tuesday in Berlin.
A joint statement indicated that a series of trilateral meetings on possible European policy tackled “the challenges of the twin green and digital transition.”
“We can’t guarantee the ecological and digital transformation if we are unable to help our companies get the raw materials they strongly need,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
Le Maire added that the act was an “important first step”, noting however that the governments needed to define concrete action on strategic projects and issues like common stockpiling.
Meanwhile, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told a press conference that state lender KfW should earmark funds for investing directly in European projects in order to provide critical materials.
Habeck also indicated that France and Italy were already providing €500 million and €1 billion, respectively, to such ends.
“That is the amount of support we should aim for in Germany too,” he said, highlighting that there was no deal on this so far in Germany’s three-way coalition, which includes the fiscally hawkish Free Democrats (FDP).