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Prime Minister Rinne met Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin

Government Communications Department 10.7.2019 16.16 | Published in English on 10.7.2019 at 17.51
Press release 377/2019
Photo: Steffen Kugler

The main topics in the discussions between Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel today were the programme and priorities of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A particular focus was on the role of the new European Commission and on the rule of law. Both Rinne and Merkel considerer it important to further strengthen the common European values and adherence to them.

“At the moment there are dark clouds in Europe that threaten democracy and freedom of speech. We must do something to fix this – Europeans should have no reason to be afraid of speaking their mind”, Prime Minister Rinne said.

He stressed the importance of securing the role of the opposition and the conditions for them to act, in all parts of Europe.

The agenda of the meeting also included the multiannual financial framework MFF, i.e. the long-term budget of the EU.

“The aim is that we would have the figures of the financial framework by the end of October so that we can then continue the discussions based on them.”

Prime Minister Rinne also stressed the important role of the rules-based international system and praised Federal Chancellor Merkel for her strong and consistent messages in favour of multilateral approaches.

“We fully understand the need to strengthen the EU’s global role in mitigating climate change, promoting free trade and defending the rules-based system, which has a strong transatlantic foundation”, Prime Minister Rinne said.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 465 6395 and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 536 4821, Prime Minister’s Office