The EU must be capable of playing a geopolitical role

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Scholz meets Prime Minister Costa The EU must be capable of playing a geopolitical role

At his meeting with Portugal's Prime Minister Costa in Lisbon on Wednesday, Federal Chancellor Scholz committed to working together to strengthen the EU's geopolitical position and thus reduce Europe's dependence on other global powers. He also reiterated his continuing support for Ukraine – for as long as necessary.

3 Min. Lesedauer

Federal Chancellor Scholz and Portuguese Prime Minister Costa at a joint press conference in Lisbon

"In many ways, we are like-minded," said the Federal Chancellor in Lisbon, highlighting the good relations between Portugal and Germany.

Foto: Federal Government/Kugler

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to Portugal for a meeting with Prime Minister António Costa. It was "such a joy for me to be a guest here in beautiful and very sunny Lisbon", he said at a joint press conference.

Scholz said that the talks, which covered a wide range of topics, were positive and characterised by a high level of mutual trust. Germany and Portugal agree on many issues: "In many ways," said the Federal Chancellor, "we are like-minded." The two countries, he said, wanted to work together to develop these relations further and to contribute to "a geopolitical Europe that is capable of overcoming the challenges it faces and that collaborates well within the transatlantic alliance".

Support for Ukraine for as long as necessary

The Russian offensive against Ukraine was also discussed, the ramifications of which, as Scholz explained, "present a challenge to all of us every day and, regrettably, will probably continue to do so for a very long time to come." Russia, he added, was not only a threat to Ukraine, but also the entire European security architecture. Moscow, he continued, was out to replace the rules-based international order with the law of the fist. "We cannot, will not and do not want to allow that to happen," said the Federal Chancellor, which, he added, is why we would continue to support Ukraine as best we can and for as long as necessary. Scholz explicitly acknowledged Portugal's contribution. The fact that Germany and Portugal collaborated to supply modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, he said, was a "visible sign" of the good working relationship between the two countries. Portugal, he continued, was the first country to agree to help Germany achieve its goal of assembling the necessary number of Leopard 2 tanks for a battalion.

Strengthening the EU as a geopolitical power

Scholz emphasised the fact that the current historical watershed would also have consequences for the European Union. "The EU," Scholz stressed, "must be capable of fulfilling its geopolitical role." The two parties, he said, had discussed how the EU's ability to take action could be secured, particularly in light of the recent expansions, adding that Germany and Portugal were "communicating regularly and in depth" with respect to the associated reform processes as well as questions relating to financial stability within the Eurozone.

New trade agreements to be agreed

The Federal Chancellor emphasised the fact that close collaboration between Portugal and Germany was also important with respect to competition and trade issues. In order to reduce dependencies on specific countries and regions and to reinforce supply chains, the Federal Chancellor explained, Europe needed new trade agreements with multiple regions and states around the world: "this includes the states in the Indo-Pacific region as well as those in Latin America and MERCOSUR." It was in all our interests to make this agreement a reality as soon as possible, he said.

"Pioneer" in the expansion of renewable energies

Scholz announced that the two countries would also collaborate closely in the fight against man-made climate change "just as we did in relation to the planned construction of the hydrogen pipeline." Portugal, he said, was a "pioneer" in the development of wind power and solar energy as well as hydrogen production and had exploited the opportunities offered by its geographical location, which "will also bring economic prosperity and good jobs to Portugal".

During his two-day sojourn in Portugal, Federal Chancellor Scholz will also be visiting the Volkswagen Group's Centre for Digital Development ("VW Digital Solutions").