Prime Minister Rinne and President Macron discussed climate change and protecting the rule of law
The meeting held on 18 September in Paris also covered the state of play in the Brexit negotiations. Prime Minister Rinne pointed out that any proposals for alternative solutions Britain may still wish to present should come soon, in view of the European Council meeting on 17–18 October.
Prime Minister Antti Rinne and President of France Emmanuel Macron met at the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the President of France. The main topics were the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, including the EU's multiannual financial framework, the rule of law and the fight against climate change. Both Finland and France have stressed that the EU should take the lead in climate work.
"The European Union must show global leadership in climate action. Both President Macron and I consider it most important for the EU to reach an agreement on setting carbon neutrality by 2050 as the target," said Prime Minister Rinne.
Prime Minister Rinne also stressed how important it is to defend the rule of law.
"We must make it fully clear to everyone that we have zero tolerance for violating the rule of law and democracy in Europe. The reason is very simple: violations against democracy and the rule of law are in fact violations against the citizens, all our people. This is something we can never accept."
Prime Minister Rinne: negotiated withdrawal agreement remains best option
Another current topic that was high on the agenda was Brexit.
"We agreed — as do all member states of the EU27 — that Britain’s withdrawal through the agreement we have already negotiated would be in everybody’s interest,” Prime Minister Rinne said.
“As the EU has never considered a no-deal as our choice, the EU27 remains open to duly motivated alternative solutions. Any proposals Britain may still wish to present should come very soon if these are to be analysed and discussed. In my thinking these proposals should be presented by the end of September,” Prime Minister Rinne concluded.
Prime Minister Rinne and President Macron also talked about EU enlargement, common approaches to respond to migration, defence cooperation within the EU, and Russia.
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,
Dimitri Qvintus, Special Adviser (Media Relations), tel. +358 50 477 7362,
Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 536 4821, Prime Minister’s Office