France, the Netherlands to strengthen economic ties

French president Francois Hollande and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Monday they want to strengthen the economic and political links between the two countries.

Hollande was on a one-day official visit to the Netherlands – the first time in 14 years a French president has visited the country.

In a joint declaration, the two men said a number of new bilateral initiatives would be a ‘tangible expression’ of the will to deepen the bonds between the two countries.

Both countries will ‘actively contribute to a European Union that is more transparent, simple and efficient’ and which is anchored in the democratic controls and values’ enshrined in Europe, they said.

As part of this, European banking union is a priority, the statement said.

The president will also visit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague and the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, where Dutch and French companies will sign contracts.

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