European Union EU leaders meet in Paris – Finland and Sweden raise common EU security guarantee

The topic of the informal meeting is the war in Ukraine with all its consequences. The EU wants to break its dependence on Russia and improve its defense.

Paris

European union leaders will meet in Versailles, Paris, on Thursday and Friday to discuss the consequences of the Ukrainian war for Europe.

Prime minister Sanna Marin (sd) will attend the meeting, which will begin on Thursday at approximately 6 pm Finnish time.

The agenda for the meeting was originally supposed to be something completely different: the French presidency had planned for EU leaders to talk about how to bring economic growth and investment to Europe.

Instead, we are now talking about increasing defense spending and how to disconnect the EU from Russian energy as soon as possible.

The summit is set to make a statement called the Versailles Declaration, which states, among other things, that Russia’s attack on Ukraine violates international law and undermines European security.

In addition to energy, there are also ways to reduce other strategically important dependencies. The war in Ukraine and China’s growing influence have prompted EU leaders to underestimate the supply chains of critical raw materials and semiconductors in Europe in the past.

The “strategic autonomy” of Europe, which has long been pursued by France, has begun to attract other countries because of the war.

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On Friday the meeting will focus on the economy and the President of the European Central Bank will also be present Christine Lagarde and the President of the Eurogroup Paschal Donohoe.

There has been speculation in advance that heads and men will discuss the EU’s common debt and bonds to finance common defense spending and investment in renewable energy. The method would be the same as in the interest rate recovery: common debt created a recovery instrument from which EU countries have received grants and credit.

In Versailles, at least, this debate is not taking place formally, as some Member States are not in favor of a common debt at this stage. The French Presidency would be ready for that.

Marin said at a parliamentary question-and-answer session on Ukraine on Wednesday that no proposals have been made in this direction from the EU, so Finland has no opinion yet.

“I would venture to anticipate that we would take a negative view of all the forms of assistance that were used in this recovery tool,” Marin said.

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Read more: The Greens are on different lines with Marin: Finland should not rule out joint EU borrowing for energy projects, says Iiris Suomela

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Finland and Sweden have included in the conclusions of the meeting a sentence emphasizing the EU ‘s mutual assistance clause, Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty.

That article states that “if a Member State is the object of an armed attack on its territory, the other Member States shall be obliged to give it assistance by any means at their disposal”.

Finland and Sweden do not belong to NATO, unlike most EU member states. For them, NATO is the primary provider of security guarantees, which is why Article 42.7. there is no greater passion in them. However, the wishes of Finland and Sweden have been well received.

Article 42.7 has been activated only once before. France requested it in 2015 following the terrorist attacks in Paris. It wanted other EU countries to add troops to EU crisis management operations so that France could withdraw its own troops from counter-terrorism work.

Read more: Prime Minister Andersson: Sweden’s accession to NATO would now destabilize the security situation in Europe

On the table Ukraine’s possible membership of the EU is a difficult issue. Georgia and Moldova have also sent applications for membership since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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The countries would like rapid access to the EU, but several member states have rejected the fast band. Becoming a member has usually taken years.

Read more: EU takes first step with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – EU members ask for Commission assessment of applications

Meeting the host country, france, is holding a presidential election in april Emmanuel Macron seeks a continuation. Based on opinion polls, the sequel looks relatively certain.

At least the magnificent setting of the Versailles meeting will not hamper Macron’s election work. He has enjoyed a leading role in Europe and has been in contact with the Russian president in recent weeks Vladimir Putin. Admittedly, Macron’s brokerage firms have not paid off.

EU leaders at the meeting place in the palace of versailles, the peace treaty of versailles was signed in 1919, ending the first world war. Germany was blamed for the war, which lost its territories and was given, among other things, heavy war reparations.

Tough conditions caused hyperinflation in Germany and plunged the country into economic chaos. It laid the foundation Adolf Hitler rise to power and World War II.

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