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The Netherlands strengthens its ties with EU partner France

Premiers identify priorities


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE Dutch Premier Jan Peter Balkenende and his French colleague Prime Minister Fillon want to strengthen the bilateral relations between their respective countries. In a joint statement, they said they will make every effort to strengthen the innovative clout and sustainability of their economies.

The battle against climate change is a top priority for both France and the Netherlands, they say. They stressed the importance of European leadership in international climate negotiations and that developed countries should support developing countries.

According to the premiers, the EU should develop a CO2 market with "emission ceilings per sector for the whole EU and, as far as possible, the auctioning of emission rights." They caution that the competitive strength of European companies must not be damaged by this. Additionally, both countries will strive to create effective internal gas and electricity markets and foster Europe's security of supply and access to energy.

France and the Netherlands, which both rejected the EU-constitution, want to push at the European level for more economic reforms. They view it as very important that both EU member states and the EU take action. At their national levels, the two countries have taken steps to encourage innovation by small and medium-sized companies. Additionally, the two countries will compare experiences and best practices and possibly make proposals at the EU level.

The two countries believe the political accord at the European Council in Lisbon will give the EU what the member states and the citizens want: more dynamism, more efficiency, more democracy and a stronger position for Europe in the world.