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Nordic prime ministers promote competitiveness and support for Ukraine

Government Communications Department
Publication date 13.5.2024 21.30 | Published in English on 14.5.2024 at 10.38
Press release
Pohjoismaiden pääministerit ja Saksan liittokansleri istuvat penkillä ilta-auringossa. Takana Tukholman kaupunkia.
Photo: Ninni Andersson/Regeringskansliet

At their summer meeting in Stockholm on 13 May, the Nordic prime ministers focused on promoting competitiveness. Support for Ukraine was also high on the agenda in the discussions. Federal Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz participated in some of the day’s meetings as an invited guest.

The Nordic prime ministers discussed ways to promote the competitiveness of the Nordic countries together with representatives from the business sector. After the discussions, the Nordic prime ministers gave a joint statement on promoting competitiveness. 
“The Nordic countries are small economies that are very much dependent on the rest of the world. Together we are stronger, which is why it is important to also develop our competitiveness together, in the Nordic context,” Prime Minister Petteri Orpo says.
In the joint statement the Nordic prime ministers point out that competitiveness is a key condition for the vision of the Nordic region as the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030 to come true, as well as to ensure peace and security. Developing competitiveness is even more important now that the security situation in Europe has deteriorated because of Russia’s war of aggression. 
The statement stresses the role of leadership in technologies for improving competitiveness, and lists four issues the Nordic countries should focus on:
1.    Harnessing critical and emerging technologies
2.    Making European capital markets grow
3.    Accelerating permitting for fossil-free energy projects
4.    Creating favourable conditions to invest in the common security and collective defence
In the afternoon the Nordic prime ministers and the Federal Chancellor of Germany discussed security issues, including hybrid threats. Prime Minister Orpo gave an introduction to the theme ‘civil preparedness and resilience’. 
“Finland is well prepared for external attempts to influence us and our society. We are cooperating to ensure the functions vital to society, in accordance with the model of comprehensive security. Nordic cooperation in civil preparedness, and preparedness in general, is active and has become even closer in recent years,” Prime Minister Orpo says.
Many of the discussions during the day and the press conference of the prime ministers stressed the importance of supporting Ukraine. Ukraine was also one of the main topics in the discussions at dinner. 
“Supporting Ukraine will continue to be a high priority for us. This is not just about the security of Ukraine but about our own security a well. Finland and the other Nordic countries are strongly committed to continuing the support for Ukraine for as long as necessary,” Prime Minister Orpo says.
Inquiries: Marja Koskela, Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister, tel. +358 295 160 978, Tuomas Tikkanen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 523 5768 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office