Monday, 27 September 2004

France calls on EU to support 'industrial champions'

French President Jacques Chirac on Friday (27 August) called on the European Union to support the creation of industrial champions.

Speaking to France’s top diplomats, the President said, “Let’s have a European competition policy that truly takes into account the realities of international competition”.

“Let’s strongly support the creation of European industrial champions. We have all the assets and all the talent that we need to succeed”, he said according to AFP.

Mr Chirac’s words come just two months before a new competition commissioner will take over in the EU.

The current commissioner, Mario Monti, has had several clashes with Paris – particularly over illegal state aid to firms.

Neelie Kroes from the Netherlands, who will take on the Competition portfolio on 1 November, is known for being close to the business community.

Before agreeing to become European Commissioner, she sat on the board of several large companies.

By Honor Mahony

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