Restructuring of the European Aerospace and Defence Electronics Industry

Joint Statement by the President of the Republic and the French Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom share a vital political and economic interest in an efficient and globally competitive European aerospace and defence electronics industry. This will help to improve Europe's position in the global market, to promote European security, and ensure that Europe will play a full role in its own defence.

We are agreed on the urgent need to restructure the aerospace and defence electronics industries. This should embrace civil and military activities in the field of aerospace, and should lead to European integration based on balanced partnership.

In the field of aerospace and related defence industries, we welcome the fact that a number of European companies, including Daimler-Benz Aerospace, Aerospatiale and British Aerospace have already demonstrated their intention to regroup their activities. We ask that they should present a clear plan and detailed timetable for this restructuring and integration by 31 March 1998.

The first steps in this process of European civil and military integration should include swift progress in establishing Airbus as a Single Corporate Entity, along the lines advocated by the four Presidents of Airbus on 13 January 1997.

It is primarily for industry to work out the structure required. We undertake for our part to implement the necessary measures in national policies relating to this industry in order to facilitate such restructuring.

We would welcome the involvement of other companies and other European nations as appropriate, while this work moves forward, and particularly those already engaged in collaborative projects.

This initiative is a practical example of co-operation between European partners, which we will promote actively.

Notes for Editors

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