12:30 GMT +322 October 2019
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    France, Germany Float Idea of EU Council Veto on Competition Rulings

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France and Germany on Tuesday suggested giving the European Council, which includes member states' leaders, the right to override the decisions of the European Commission on competition in some situations, to boost the European companies' ability to compete internationally.

    "We must continue to argue for a fairer and more effective global level playing field, but in the meantime, we need to ensure our companies can actually grow and compete. This entails changes to existing European competition rules. France and Germany suggest examining different options… Consider whether a right of appeal of the Council which could ultimately override Commission decisions could be appropriate in well-defined cases, subject to strict conditions," the manifesto, published by the German finance ministry, read.

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    French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire and German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier held a joint press conference earlier in the day to launch a Franco-German joint manifesto on European industrial strategy.

    The proposals come less than two weeks after the European Commission blocked the merger of rail businesses of French Alstom and German Siemens. The two companies intended to create a rail industry champion capable of competing with foreign competitors, in particular, China. Paris and Berlin backed the proposed deal and expressed regret over the commission's decision. Le Maire has called it a political and economic mistake.

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