Prime Minister Sipilä held talks with Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel
Prime Minister Sipilä and Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel met on Thursday 8 March in Luxembourg to discuss a number of topical EU matters. Their discussions focused on the way forward for the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and for EU defence cooperation, as well as Brexit, the priorities for the next financial framework period, the importance of agriculture and reforming the EU’s agricultural policy.
“Future financial frameworks must provide more robust support for investment that enhances employment, competitiveness and growth. Other key matters for Finland are cohesion policy and the subsidies that enable agricultural production in all parts of the EU. Defence cooperation and other new challenges such as migration also require a share of the new budget,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.
The two prime ministers also discussed the way forward for the EMU. For Finland it is essential that the Banking Union is completed and that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is transformed into a European Monetary Fund (EMF). These are also important issues for Luxembourg, because the country has a large financial and banking sector. Luxembourg is also home to the ESM, which was set up as an international financial institution by the euro countries.
“Finland and Luxembourg are of much the same opinion on the way forward for EU defence cooperation. We were among those who brought defence issues to the level of Heads of State or Government and who began the process of Permanent Structured Cooperation. Now we need to seek concrete results in regard to defence investment, capability development and the ability to act,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.
“The meeting with Luxembourg’s prime minister and the search for shared positions on major issues was very useful in preparing for the summit taking place a couple of weeks from now, where the agenda will include the EMU. Our two countries have a lot of shared interests that we can take forward together with our European colleagues,” noted Sipilä with satisfaction.
Tomorrow, 9 March, Prime Minister Sipilä will meet Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.
Inquiries: Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office