The EU must become more sovereign and resilient
“We call on President Putin to cease hostilities with immediate effect and to withdraw his invasion force from the country,” said Scholz when he received the Finnish Prime Minister at the Chancellery on Wednesday evening. Scholz expressed his respect for Ukraine, “which is opposing the aggressor so bravely.” The Federal Chancellor reiterated: “We will continue to support Ukraine.”
We must strengthen our defence capabilities
In Scholz’s view, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine marks a turning point, including for the EU, which would have to become more sovereign and resilient, he said. “That means we must boost our defence capabilities through investments and, above all, through improved cooperation in close coordination with the USA and NATO.” Scholz added that there had already been consensus on this at the informal meeting of the European Council in Versailles last week, and that the issue would be discussed again at next week's meeting of the European Council. In Scholz's view, there was a desire to use the meeting to adopt the so-called “Strategic Compass”, which aims to give a clear direction and new impulses to the EU’s joint defence and security policy.
Cooperation on migration, climate and the rule of law
Finland and Germany also intend to work closely together on other issues, including migration and also the rule of law. Scholz stressed that they were in agreement on the issue of climate in particular: “We support the goals of the Fit for 55 package and are working to make rapid progress.” In addition, the Federal Chancellor explained that they intended to draw up a proposal for an international climate club that would be open to all nations in order to accelerate the implementation of the goals of the Paris and Glasgow agreements. Finland is also keenly interested in this project.