Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne and President of France Emmanuel Macron met on Wednesday 18 September at the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the President of France.
According to the information published by the Government's communications office, the main topics of discussion were the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, including the multiannual financial framework of the EU, rule of law and 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", Prime Minister Rinne said.
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 could never accept".
Prepare for a no-deal Brexit
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 now would be in everybody’s interest. Any proposals Britain may still wish to present should come very soon, if these are to be discussed. However, we must also prepare for a no-deal Brexit", Prime Minister Rinne said.
Prime Minister Rinne and President Macron also talked about EU enlargement, common approaches to respond to migration, defence cooperation within the EU, and Russia.