At their joint meeting in Lens today, the Ministers for European Affairs Michael Roth, Amélie de Montchalin and Konrad Szymański adopted a joint statement on key European issues such as climate protection, the rule of law and sustainable industrial policy, as well as the EU budget and the Conference on the Future of Europe. In their statement, the three countries affirm their commitment to the goal of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and to the EU’s leading role in the fight against climate change. An ambitious European industrial policy and technological autonomy for the EU are also highlighted as priorities in the statement. Germany, France and Poland jointly reaffirm the Western Balkans’ prospects for EU enlargement and the necessary commitment to the rule of law in the EU. The text of the joint statement adopted at the meeting can be found here.
Michael Roth, who is also Commissioner for Franco-German Cooperation, issued the following statement following the meeting:
We want to use this format to strengthen cohesion in Europe once again. Around 40 percent of the EU’s citizens live in the countries that we represent. In our open and lively discussion, we certainly did not reach agreement on all issues, but we did find many areas in which we are on the same page. We want to make Europe fit for the future, with a modern budget that links climate protection with a sustainable economy and secure jobs, with greater participation on the part of citizens, who should be in a position to contribute their ideas more effectively, and with a mandatory peer review mechanism on the rule of law to which all member states are bound in equal measure.
Finding joint responses
Michael Roth wants the Weimar Triangle to play a key role in this regard once again in the future. Joint answers to important questions must be found, said the Minister of State for Europe. What are our common values? We also need a common understanding of our responsibility for peace, stability and democracy, Roth added. The statement adopted in Lens injects initial key impetus into this discussion.
Roth, de Montchalin and Szymański also spoke to residents of the former mining area of Loos-en-Gohelle, which has now been transformed into a model village with respect to its environmental and cultural activities. Together, the Ministers for European Affairs visited an exhibition at the Louvre-Lens Museum documenting the arrival of a great number of Polish workers in the mining region in northern France at the beginning of the 19th century.
What is the Weimar Triangle?
The Weimar Triangle was founded at a meeting in Weimar in 1991 between Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Germany’s foreign minister at the time, and his French and Polish counterparts, Roland Dumas and Krzysztof Skubiszewski. The objective of these meetings is to identify what interests Germany, France and Poland have in common regarding Europe’s future and how cross‑border regional cooperation can be improved. The Ministers for European Affairs last met in this format in Warsaw in 2016.