Michael Georg Link, the new Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, is paying inaugural visits to Copenhagen, London, Paris and Brussels over 30 and 31 January.
His political talks will focus on current issues in European politics, particularly economic and finance policy, as well as on bilateral relations with Denmark, the United Kingdom and France.
Minister of State Link issued the following statement on his plans in Berlin today (29 January):
“The focus set by the Danish Presidency of the EU Council is entirely consistent with our own priorities. I am convinced that Denmark will take up the mantle of honest broker and effect crucial advances in the Council’s ongoing work. Denmark’s success will be success for all of us.
We remain committed to collaborating with the United Kingdom, particularly when it comes to deepening the European internal market and implementing initiatives for growth and competitiveness. The UK is and will remain an indispensable partner within the EU.
We enjoy and will continue to enjoy a unique relationship with France. Our two countries stand by our shared commitment to move forwards in the interests of Europe and of helping to resolve the big challenges in European politics.
In Brussels, I will be speaking to members of the European Parliament and the Commission to discuss how best to implement the decisions of the European Council.”
Mr Link’s first trip abroad as Minister of State will take him to Copenhagen, as Denmark is currently holding the Presidency of the EU Council. His talks there will include discussions with Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen and Minister for Economics and the Interior Margrethe Vestager.
In London, Minister of State Link will be meeting his opposite number in the UK, Minister of State David Lidington. His programme will also include talks in the House of Commons.
On 31 January, Minister of State Link will be in Paris to speak to his French counterpart, Jean Leonetti. The two men have already met, having celebrated this year’s Franco-German Day together in Berlin on 24 January 2012, the day Mr Link took office. In France’s parliament, the Minister of State will also be meeting Pierre Lequiller, Chairman of the Assemblée Nationale’s EU Committee. One focus of the talks, alongside current issues in European politics, will be on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty.
The agenda in Brussels will include talks with members of the European Parliament as well as European Commissioner Günter Oettinger. They will primarily centre around the situation in Greece, the efforts being made in the EU to overcome the euro debt crisis, and the outcome of the informal European Council of 30 January.