French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe vowed to face the demands of the 'Yellow Vest' movement, while speaking at an event organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cologne on Thursday.
Philippe argued that the movement is not an exclusively French phenomenon, saying "I think this anger is partly a response to the global financial crisis which our economies have gone through in 2008."
The prime minister identified stagnating or decreasing standards of living over the last 10 years as the main, stressing it was a Europe-wide issue.
A sense that protesters felt left behind and needed to rediscover their confidence in democracy was also mentioned.
Lashing out at US President Donald Trump's 'America First' policy, Philippe questioned Europe's traditional transatlantic alliance, urging Germany and France to join forces to defend so-called European values in forthcoming EU elections this May.