Kariņš: The Baltic and Nordic region should become a leader in Europe
During the meeting with Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin on 12 February, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš discussed bilateral relations between Latvia and Finland, the opportunities to strengthen them, cooperation at regional level and current developments of the European Union. The officials focused particularly on the multi-annual budgetary process and the European Green Deal.
“We have many shared challenges that unite us - both in terms of security, the economy and climate change. We paid particular attention to climate change, because the mild spring weather we had in Helsinki today – in mid-February – indicates that these challenges are real and we need to look for ways to significantly mitigate the effects of climate change in the coming years. Joint efforts of the Baltic and Nordic region on climate policy, innovation, hybrid security, will make it a leader in Europe.
“It is in our interest to strengthen this commitment by means of a sound and ambitious policy in these areas,” said K.Kariņš in a press conference following the meeting with S.Marin by noting that around 40% of the total energy consumption is already provided in both countries by renewable energy sources and that the governments have set targets to achieve climate neutrality in their economies.
“The challenges posed by climate change and good political relations provide an excellent opportunity for closer economic cooperation, because by putting climate policy in Europe on the top of agenda, we give a very clear signal to businesses. It is safe to invest in the development of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency technologies, because there is a guaranteed market of 500 million people in Europe,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also had a meeting with Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland within the framework of his visit to Helsinki. K. Kariņš and S. Niinistö discussed the security issues of the region, the need to strengthen cooperation between Latvia and Finland in the field of defence, as well as the geopolitical situation in Europe and throughout the world.
The Prime Minister also visited the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, familiarized himself with the Centre's activities and discussed with its staff the various risks and the Centre's ability to identify them in good time and inform the EU Member States thereof.
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