Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and President Emmanuel Macron outlined the new strategic partnership in an opinion piece in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Thursday.
“Sweden and France are world leaders in the field of green innovation and can contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society. Those countries and businesses that are first out with their solutions will not only increase their competitiveness, they will also lay the foundation for tomorrow’s export successes and new jobs,” write the two centre-left leaders.
The partnership will focus on four areas: developing green solutions for transport and cities, boosting green finance, using pharmaceutical and environmental innovation to promote a healthier lifestyle, and taking advantage of the innovative skills of the countries’ tech and startup scene.
Both the private and public sector will be involved in the project, which aims to present concrete steps forward within two years.
“We are convinced that our French-Swedish innovation partnership will create great value for our citizens and contribute to a more innovative and green EU,” write Löfven and Macron.
They are set to discuss the issue further at an EU ‘social summit’ hosted by Sweden on Friday, where leaders will discuss ways to boost the job market and working conditions of the union.
Löfven and Macron are scheduled to visit Volvo after the summit to present the new partnership at a press conference.
Both leaders reaffirmed their belief in the European project and the importance of social values, but their visions for the EU future are not similar in every aspect: Macron has called for ambitious reforms of the union, while Löfven wants as much power as possible to remain with the individual states and has said the EU should implement existing polices rather than launching new proposals.