Today marks the beginning of the French business mission to Athens led by the president of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF), together with its international branch, MEDEF International. It is held in a peculiar political and economic context that encourages a strong, united and coherent response from European countries.
Greece and France have been maintaining an active political and economic dialogue, bolstered by today’s visit: We will move forward to deepen our relations for a sustained and inclusive economic recovery, along with supporting EU competitiveness and innovation. Decisive and coordinated action is needed to secure the position of European companies.
Greece has emerged stronger from more than a decade of hardship. Despite the consequences of the economic and financial crisis, the Greek economy is transforming, and a virtuous dynamic is in motion. Major strategic decisions have been taken by the Greek government under the leadership of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan is an ambitious lever for investment and growth over the long term: It has the potential to foster a strong economic recovery, to create jobs and to make Greece ready for the future. France has long been committed to working together with Greece and to strengthening our partnership to achieve these goals.
The present business mission, comprising 30 representatives of French excellence and know-how, in continuity with this commitment, is committed to pursuing a close dialogue with Greece’s business community and government, to reaffirm the common willingness to put the two countries on track to deliver the 2030 climate goal and to achieve the societal transition required to decarbonize our economies.
The areas of contribution between French and Greek companies notably include infrastructure resilience, sustainable cities, industrial decarbonization including nuclear energy, environmental protection, technology and innovation, sustainable tourism and, lastly, the maritime industry, the two last sectors being of paramount importance to our two countries.
Today, both France and Greece stand united, resilient and ambitious in their strategy to shape long-term trends for a strong Europe at a moment when war is at our borders.
This war prompts us to reaffirm our commitment and to take leadership in defending the key European values that unite us – human dignity and rights, freedom, rule of law, equality and democracy – and in pursuing a rules-based system of global trade governance. We will build a European strategic autonomy by way of concrete solutions and collective action in response to these challenges.
We must reduce our dependencies and vulnerabilities to ensure the security of our supplies, the decarbonization of our energy supply and efficiency, strengthen our resilience and European strategic autonomy and align with the decarbonization and carbon neutrality goal for 2050.
Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux is president of Le Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF).