On 28 September, Ministers of State and State Secretaries from the United Kingdom and Germany met in Berlin for their annual exchange on European policy. Headed by Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, and Britain’s Minister of State for Europe, David Lidington, representatives of various German and British ministries came together at Villa Borsig, the Federal Foreign Office guest house in Berlin’s Tegel district.
“Britain is an important EU partner with whom we have a regular exchange on European projects”, the Minister of State said. Roth and Lidington stressed that both sides, as well as the EU as a whole, benefit when Germany and Britain work together closely.
Focus on the refugee crisis
The Ministers stated that Europe had to show solidarity and humanity in dealing with the refugee crisis. The consultations centred on tackling the causes of flight. The situation in countries of origin and transit has to be stabilised and improved. People who have fled need prospects for the future in their home countries. In the short term, it is crucial that support is given to the countries surrounding crisis regions in order to improve the situation of the refugees there.
Especially in view of the forthcoming EU summit with African countries, both sides agreed to work more closely together to tackle the refugee crisis.
Within the EU, the single market is to be advanced. It was stressed that the services sector and digital market in particular offered potential for growth and jobs.
“Today’s consultations showed once more that no country can resolve the refugee crisis or economic issues on its own. We need a strong EU, both within and in the wider world. We need Britain in the EU in order to find these joint responses”, summed up Michael Roth.
UK-German relations are close, diverse and based on mutual trust. Both countries are members of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the G7, the G20 and other international bodies. Like…