French Economic Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, is to attend tomorrow’s (16 October) strategic metals meeting in Paris.

The meeting – under the auspices of the Comité des métaux stratégiques (COMES) – comes at a time when PSA Peugeot Citroen is looking to make up to 8,000 staff redundant in France and close its Aulnay site near Paris and as French automakers are seeking to reduce over-capacity.

“Metals are strategic, are key elements in the making of technological and innovative products, whose supply must be secured,” a statement from Montebourg’s Ministry said. “Long-term and competitive access to these metals is en effect, a strategic stake for our country.

“Several States have already put measures in place to respond to these stakes, notably in Germany [while the] European Union has equally set up a European programme of innovation.

“The committee of strategic metals, in existence since the beginning of 2011, allows actors such as the State and research and industrial organisations, to propose a policy for raw materials in France, allying it to economic growth, mining, industrial and international policies.”

Montebourg’s attendance at tomorrow’s event comes four days after he met the CFE-CGC metalworking union as part of a week-long series of sector initiatives, organised by European labour body, IndustriALL.