More than just neighbours

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Federal Chancellor attends Nordic summit in Sweden More than just neighbours

Federal Chancellor Scholz travelled to Stockholm for the meeting of government representatives from the five Northern European states. The Federal Chancellor said that concerted support for Ukraine would continue. He also said that Finland and Sweden joining NATO meant “greater security for all of us”.

Federal Chancellor Scholz attends Nordic Council in Stockholm.

Speaking at the Nordic Council in Stockholm, Federal Chancellor Scholz said, “We’re all NATO members now.”

Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it was a “privilege” to be able once again to attend the Nordic Council meeting for the five Northern European states. He said that the meeting demonstrated the high level of cooperation and trust between Nordic countries and Germany, for which he was extremely grateful.

In addition to Federal Chancellor Scholz, the meeting in Stockholm was attended by the Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the Icelandic Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and Finland’s Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

Scholz stressed that the “Nordics” and Germany are more than just neighbours, as they shared the same values and interests, and were working closely together  on issues of all kinds , all with the aim of a safe, free and prosperous Europe.

However, this year was very different to the last meeting, as “we’re all NATO members now,” he said, stressing that this was a direct consequence of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Scholz said that having Finland and Sweden as members of the alliance strengthened NATO and “ greater security for all of us”.

Security issues in focus

Security issues took up much of the agenda at the meeting. The Federal Chancellor explained that, in addition to existing threats to our values and societies, the leaders had discussed threats to common security. The Federal Chancellor stressed that he greatly valued Nordic perspectives on all these issues and looked forward to increasing the collaboration.

He added that the six countries were of one mind to continue helping Ukraine defend itself against ongoing Russian aggression, “for as long as it takes”. In his meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson, the Federal Chancellor stressed that it was “gratifying” to see how closely Sweden and Germany had joined forces in helping defend Ukraine against Russian aggression. Scholz restated that “Ukraine can rely on both our countries.”

Photo series: Federal Chancellor Scholz visits Sweden

Innovation partnership with Sweden

While in Stockholm, Federal Chancellor Scholz met Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson for one-to-one talks. Germany and Sweden were close partners, he said, and the fact that this was now the third time that the innovation partnership between the two countries had been updated was a sign of their excellent bilateral relations. Scholz and Kristersson signed the updated agreement.

The innovation partnership has been extended to cover areas such as defence innovation and aerospace. The Federal Chancellor announced closer cooperation in areas where work was already underway such as energy security and artificial intelligence.

Implementing the energy transition – advancing Europe

“It is our aspiration and our imperative to advancing the energy transition in Europe”, Scholz said in Sweden. The Federal Chancellor said the Baltic area held great potential for developing the hydrogen market. In his view, this made forging economic links and setting up the infrastructure needed to produce green hydrogen a key common concern. Scholz said his talks with Kristersson had included challenges facing the European Union, such as the capital markets union, where concerted efforts were needed to make progress.