The French and German leaders meet on Monday (February 6) in Paris for annual talks in which they will seek further economic coordination in the crisis-hit European Union and discuss the escalating violence in Syria.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is openly backing President Nicolas Sarkozy in April's presidential election, will also give a joint interview with Sarkozy to French and German television networks in the evening.
The German chancellor is seen in France as a trustworthy leader capable of dealing with the euro zone debt crisis, and so could boost Sarkozy's credibility on economic issues.
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said Merkel's visit, which takes place as Greece struggles to avoid a chaotic debt default that would have repercussions across Europe, was to ensure the bloc's main drivers were on the same page.
German government officials said the meeting would focus on corporate tax harmonisation, one aspect of Berlin and Paris' goal to drive economic coordination within the EU.
The intergovernmental meeting includes separate talks between various ministers including foreign policy chiefs Alain Juppe and Guido Westerwelle.
Sources said discussions would also focus on how Europe will act on developments in Syria after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. resolution, backed by France and Germany, that would have supported an Arab plan urging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power.