Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement on the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris today (13 July):
The close partnership between Germany and France is not an end in itself. What we have achieved in Europe and between France and Germany in the past fifty years is unique. The priority now is to strengthen our common European foreign policy, a foreign policy that we consider to be all‑encompassing – from diplomacy, crisis prevention and development assistance to military cooperation.
Another objective today is to modernise our partnership with France and to work towards a form of cooperation that enshrines our bilateral relations even more deeply in Europe. We must do more together in and for Europe.
At the bilateral level, we will agree on a whole package of initiatives – from youth work, the joint work of cultural institutes and improved cooperation among our foreign services to closer collaboration in the area of security and defence and strengthening our common European engagement in Africa – that will demonstrate that we intend to cooperate with one another across the board.
I am also delighted that we finally have an opportunity to reach an agreement on a joint Franco-German investment fund at the Franco-German Council of Ministers today that will ensure that start‑ups enjoy improved starting conditions in our countries. I have strongly backed this idea and it is most welcome that it is now receiving such great support.