Finland, Netherlands pledge to fill UK's role

0 真人百家乐Print E-mail Xinhua, February 20, 2019
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Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday stressed the need to fill the gap in the ranks of the defenders of free trade and the single market after the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.

At a joint press conference in Helsinki, Sipila described Finland and the Netherlands as "the last knights" in defending the single market.

Rutte noted that France and Germany were more "state oriented". Rutte expressed confidence that even though the outgoing UK has been one of the big three, the remaining defenders of the single market will ensure that the EU remains market oriented and the social model persists.

He later toned down not "being against France and Germany", but "making sure they stay on the right track". He saw "already allies coming up" for the goal in the EU.

Rutte and Sipila talked to the media before a meeting of six prime ministers of the European Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in Helsinki.

ALDE is a group in the European Parliament. Besides Rutte and Sipila, the participants were Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Estonia Juri Ratas and Prime Minister of Slovenia Marjan Sarec.

Earlier on Tuesday Sipila had a bilateral meeting with Marjan Sarec of Slovenia.

In both meetings the priorities of the upcoming Finnish chairmanship in the EU during the latter half of this year were discussed. Also circular economy was discussed in depth. Sipila said Finland will publish in March an updated schedule of switching to circular economy.

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