Friends of Ukraine
At the heart of this visit was Prime Minister Kallas’ meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. Key topics of discussion included extending support to Ukraine and exploring ways to raise the cost of aggression for Russia. The leaders also delved into matters of security cooperation, enhancing relations between Estonia and France, and the expansion of the European Union.
Ahead of their meeting, both leaders addressed the press, emphasizing the importance of their discussions, which were streamed live on President Macron’s YouTube channel.
CleanTech synergy prospects
Parallel to these high-level diplomatic engagements, Prime Minister Kallas attended a crucial business seminar at the Estonian embassy in Paris, focusing on energy and green technologies. CleanTech is the field in which there is great potential for partnerships between Estonia and France, and on both sides, there is a great interest in bolstering cooperation between companies in the two countries.
The CleanTech, seminar, organised in partnership with the Estonian embassy in Paris and Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF), brought together representatives from Estonian energy companies and their French counterparts. The Estonian business delegation included Elcogen, Fusebox, Skeleton Technologies, Sunly, and UpCatalyst.
One of the highlights of the visit was the signing of a mutual statement of intent on cooperation in CleanTech between Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo and French Minister for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness, and French Nationals Abroad Olivier Becht. The focus of this partnership includes battery and energy storage, electrolyzers and fuel cells, grid technologies, and the generation of decarbonized electricity. This landmark agreement symbolises the commitment of both nations to work together in developing and implementing sustainable technologies, thus addressing the growing global concern for environmental sustainability.
In addition to national cooperation, the memorandum of cooperation was signed by Estonian green hydrogen startup Elcogen and French green hydrogen technology venture Genvia.
“France is a leader in decarbonization and green industry in Europe, and offers many opportunities for collaboration and strategic partnerships. We are eager to witness the first concrete projects emerging from this statement of intent,” notes Taavi Madiberg, CEO and co-founder of Skeleton Technologies. “Skeleton has already entered into promising discussions with major French industrial companies and we are confident that more Estonian innovators will follow in our footsteps.”
“We are tremendously proud that so many Estonian Cleantech companies already have strong business ties in France. But there’s a lot of untapped potential still to discover,” says Liina Maria Lepik, Member of the Management Board at Enterprise Estonia. “This event was especially important to strengthen future collaboration with France and French companies and will mark a milestone in our joint path. We see it as a complementary deal – already established and experienced French industrial companies and young and agile Estonian industrial scale-ups.”
The collaboration between Estonia and France in the CleanTech sector is not only timely but essential in the global effort to transition to more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. As both nations strive to find innovative solutions to address the environmental challenges of our time, this visit serves as a promising milestone towards a cleaner, greener future.
With leaders like Prime Minister Kallas and President Macron at the forefront, the future of CleanTech cooperation between Estonia and France appears brighter than ever. This visit not only strengthens bilateral relations but also brings fresh hope and inspiration to the growing CleanTech industry.