The Netherlands and Germany strengthen collaboration on innovation

The Netherlands and Germany will strengthen their collaboration in the fields of innovation and energy. This was agreed at government talks which were held for the second time in Eindhoven. The talks show the great importance both countries attach to their close and intensive relations. As European and transatlantic partners, the Netherlands and Germany take a joint approach to international challenges.

The talks focused on innovation. At the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven members of the Dutch and German governments exchanged views on further strengthening both countries’ innovative potential. In various working groups they discussed the role innovation can play in the fields of energy, sustainability and the transition to a digital economy. The Netherlands and Germany agreed to step up their collaboration on innovation and energy. Another topic of discussion was the current agenda for foreign and European policy.

The Netherlands and Germany agreed to work together more closely on an innovative approach to the transition to a low-carbon energy supply by 2050. The main aim is that the energy supply remains safe and reliable and contributes to economy growth and the creation of jobs.

Another area in which Germany and the Netherlands are enhancing their joint efforts is the digital economy. The microelectronics sector in particular plays a key role in digitalising the economy and society. Both countries have expressed their support for the package of measures recently presented by the European Commission for digitalising Europe’s industry. The Netherlands and Germany will share their experiences in this area at annual stakeholder meetings.

Neighbouring countries
As neighbouring countries the Netherlands and Germany have maintained close political, cultural and economic ties for many years. Both countries are among Europe’s most innovative economies. On both sides of the border, businesses, knowledge institutions and government bodies work closely together on developing innovative solutions. This has also generated many cross-border partnerships.

In the margins of the government talks an agreement was signed between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Brainport Development. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will open a liaison office in Eindhoven.

International collaboration
As two of its founding members, the Netherlands and Germany are determined to further strengthen the European Union. Both countries stress the importance of working together within Europe to find solutions to the challenges the EU is facing. This includes the refugee issue as well as economic recovery and the creation of jobs, for example by further developing the internal market.

Germany and the Netherlands also work closely together in the field of security: in Mali, in the fight against IS, in the context of the conflict in the Ukraine and of course within NATO. Bilateral military cooperation, which even includes mutual secondment of military personnel, has been continually stepped up and expanded since 2013.

Besides Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Dutch delegation consisted of Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp and Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker. Germany was represented by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and State Secretary for Education and Research Georg Schütte.

The first of these Dutch-German government talks were held in May 2013 in the German border town of Kleve.

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