Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) EU Council President Charles Michel visited Finland and Sweden, expressing support for the countries’ NATO aspirations.
Speaking at a press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Helsinki, Michel pointed out that Finland’s NATO application is very important “for the future of Finland and for the future of Europe.”
He added that joining NATO would make Finland and Europe stronger and safer as well as be beneficial to the alliance, the Council noted in a statement on Thursday.
Michel stressed the importance of supporting Ukraine and announced that the EU Council will discuss at its next meeting “how we can provide more financial support to Ukraine, so they have the liquidity to run the country.”
He added that the Council will discuss how to rebuild Ukraine after the war and stressed “we need to make sure that we demonstrate our concrete solidarity, and we will also address some challenges that we all face together.”
Energy and food security are very important topics, he noted and added “these are major challenges for all of us… and it is also important to show our solidarity with developing countries and to take concrete measures to help them and to support them.”
Michel pointed out that the Council will also discuss security and defence, stressing that the bloc has to improve its common capabilities.
“This is a historic moment for Finland, a historic moment for the European Union… Russia decided to launch a war against Ukraine, and we have decided to be strong, to be powerful and to express our full unity,” Michel concluded.
Speaking at a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in Stockholm, Michel noted that Sweden’s NATO application comes at a pivotal moment.
“The values of peace, prosperity, freedom, and democracy are now at stake on our European soil,” he stressed and added “these values were forged from the ashes of the two world wars.”
He expressed support for Sweden’s NATO bid, adding that expansion of the alliance would benefit the EU and make it safer.
Commenting on the rise of energy prices, Michel pointed out that it is putting pressure on economies and citizens and reminded that the Council plans to address the problem by focusing on renewable energy and reducing dependence on Russian energy imports.