A driving force behind European integration

The Weimar Triangle partners – Germany and its two largest immediate neighbours, France and Poland – regularly meet to discuss current affairs and issues with a bearing on the future.

Focusing on Europe, the three countries aim to give fresh impetus to European integration beyond the resolution of the current crisis. One example is the Common Security and Defence Policy, another the next EU budget. EU funds are to be spent where they can generate tangible stimuli for growth.

Situation in Belarus

The three Foreign Ministers are gravely concerned about the situation in Belarus. The country’s human rights situation is characterized by the repression of opposition activists, civil society and independent media. Foreign Minister Westerwelle called Belarus “the last dictatorship in Europe”.

On 28 February, the EU imposed new sanctions against Belarusian police chiefs and judges for human rights violations. In response, President Lukashenko asked the ambassadors of the EU and Poland to leave the country. The EU thereupon decided to recall the ambassadors of all EU countries from Minsk for consultations.

Foreign Minister made it clear that “we will not be intimidated by campaigns against individual institutions in Europe or individual states.” The Foreign Ministers of the Weimar Triangle issued a statement in Berlin announcing further sanctions should the human rights situation in Belarus fail to improve. At the same time, they aim to intensify cooperation with Belarusian civil society.

Violence in Syria

The situation in Syria was another pressing issue discussed in Berlin. In another statement, the Foreign Ministers of France, Poland and Germany declared themselves appalled at the ongoing violence. They deplored the deadlock in the UN Security Council on the issue and called upon the Syrian leadership to allow immediate unhindered access for humanitarian aid to their country.

The Ministers also expressed their support for the statement of the chairman of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People at their recent meeting in Tunis, agreeing that the Syrian National Council had to work in a spirit of unity with all opposition groups, both inside and outside the country. The Triangle was ready, they said, to offer a new democratic Syria a close political and economic partnership.

Last updated 29.02.2012

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