BUSINESS ALLIES

Common Ground for Germany and France

Germany and France have long been among Europe's strongest partners, even if they take a different approach. Credit: DPA
Germany and France have long been among Europe's strongest partners, even if they take a different approach.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The two countries have long been partners for more European unity, but their business ties require closer cooperation.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The refugee crisis is challenging unity between German and French policy makers.
    • France is willing to accept a maximum of 60,000 refugees, while as many as 1 million might come to Germany this year.
    • The heads of German and French tank manufacturers, Nexter and KMW, appeared at the forum following their deal earlier this year to merge.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Crises show how strong a friendship really is. For the German-French partnership — long an engine for increased European cohesion — the current refugee crisis is a severe test of that unity.

Listening to the experts from industry and politics at the German-French Business Forum in Berlin on Tuesday, it was clear that there are no simple solutions. Sponsored by Handelsblatt and the French financial newspaper Les Echos, it was the second such annual event to grapple with such questions.

Ulrich Grillo, president of the Federation of German Industries, or BDI, said he believes businesses share an obligation to help solve the refugee problem. For instance, they can offer apprenticeships to migrants or make housing available, he said.

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