European economy: How French and German states compare
12 February 2014 Last updated at 12:39 GMT
France's economy has struggled in recent years and President Hollande has plans to reduce the levels of bureaucracy and the size of the state sector.
Critics say France has too centralised and big a state sector. By contrast, in Germany much of the decision making is at local level.
So how do the two systems compare?
Hugh Schofield reports from Chalons-en-Champagne in France, and Steve Evans reports from its German twin-town, Neuss.