Industrial policy has always been an area for German-French cooperation, which has proved both symbolic and difficult. The success of EADS shows the how a common political will can contribute to a modern European industry. Yet, the company’s recent troubles, as well as a certain number of other critical German-French incidents, display the ambivalence between partnership and rivalry. In spite of rather converging practices, industrial policy production structures, blueprints and approaches still differ. Likewise, the political will to generate the creation of European or German-French ‘champions’ is confronted with company logics and industrial nationalisms. France and Germany should base their cooperation on the European regulatory framework instead, and thus create favourable conditions for innovation and competitiveness.