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Broken Siemens-Alstom merger : Europe needs industry-Champions

The prohibition of the merger between Alstom and the railway division of Siemens comes at a time where the European industrial policy is in a crucial Phase. A consequence of this ban will be that the creation of European industrial Champions in the area of railway and signal technology will be prevented for a longer period of time.

All major economic areas of the world such as China, Japan, Korea, and the United States prepare for the global competition of the most important branches of industry: in the digital technology and especially in artificial intelligence, in the case of electric vehicles and batteries, but also in the steel and aluminum sector as well as in the Zugsparte. Especially the latter plays for France as well as Germany, and therefore for the whole of the European Union, an important economic role.

With unprecedented speed are created in the Rest of the world new industrial Champions: Who could say the emergence of new actors like Netflix in the movie industry, Tesla in the automotive industry and Space X in the space before?

hundreds of billions of euros will be invested

In the railway industry, the Chinese vehicle manufacturer CRRC seemed to be within a few years, with a 540-built trains per year and 29 000 kilometres high-speed line, the undisputed international market leader of advanced. France and Germany are 40 trains, and just under 9000 miles. In technological terms, we stand with our railway systems at the top of the global competition.

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in order nevertheless to send anywhere in the world other players to conquer new markets. In the coming years, the planned investments in this area amount to hundreds of billions of euros.

Already in 2015, had declared China, the railway sector is part of its industrial strategy, "Made in China 2025". For us Europeans now follows that we must draw appropriate Lessons from it. To be able to be on par with our international competitors act, would have been the establishment of a sufficiently strong German-French Player a step of the utmost importance, vis-à-vis the already much larger and more powerful international groups positioning. Exactly that was the reason and the justification for this fusion project that has been rejected by the Commission.

The decision to Siemens-Alstom is not appropriate

With all due respect for the competences of the Commission and its authorities, as well as for the current rules of the European competition law, we regret this decision. It seems to us not reasonable in view of the challenges of international competition. We are and remain convinced that it is essential to find an adequate solution to this pressing Problem.

for this reason, we are all of the legal, political and practical solutions elicit. We are of the opinion that the current rules would have allowed an appropriate and flexible solution.

Nevertheless, we will propose that European competition law. It should take account of the requirements of global competition in the future. We have agreed that we will, together, Germany and France, before the European elections. We will also involve our partners in the European Union, for a strong industry.

Economic sovereignty is the goal

These proposals will be on a long-term Vision to support, because the international competition is constantly evolving, its impact may not be immediately visible, but only in a few years to materialise. It is a very important project to protect the economic and social interests of our citizens in the best possible way.

We want an industrial policy, which is our technological strength and the competence of the European workers. Through a redesign of the competition law, we want to make it an Instrument of our economic sovereignty.

More about

Siemens and Alstrom in Accordance with EU-Veto-to-track Fusion Altmaier wants to change the law

Peter Altmaier (CDU), Federal Minister for economic Affairs. Bruno Le Maire is Minister of economy and Finance in France.

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