Today (16 July), Michael Georg Link, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, met with his French and Polish counterparts in the historic Bad Wimpfen Monastery in northern Baden Württemberg for political talks in the Weimar Triangle format. In a confidential setting, the talks with French Minister Delegate for European Affairs Thierry Repentin and Polish State Secretary for European Affairs Piotr Serafin focussed on current issues of European policy.
After the talks, Minister of State Link issued the following statement:
“The Weimar Triangle has been a cornerstone of our European policy for more than 20 years. Especially for Germany, open and comprehensive talks with our large neighbours to the west and east are essential.
The special appeal of these talks, which are traditionally not held in the capitals, is that these trilateral talks allow us an especially intense exchange of opinions with more time than usual at our disposal far away from the hectic of capital city politics. I am therefore very pleased that my two colleagues accepted the invitation to come to my home region of Baden Württemberg.
Today we discussed the major European policy issues facing us now, starting with efforts to deepen the economic and monetary union. Just now we discussed our assessments of the recent proposals by the European Commission on banking union and outlined the way ahead.
In preparation for the European Council this December, we also discussed the future of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.
Another important issue taken up was how Europe should deal with its neighbours in the Eastern Partnership. We want to work together to achieve concrete progress in cooperation with Ukraine, for example, before the big summit in Vilnius in November 2013 when the European Union will hold talks with our partners from the Eastern Partnership.”
The Weimar Triangle
Consultations between Germany, France and Poland, known as the Weimar Triangle, have taken place regularly at all levels since 1991. The Ministers for European Affairs meet particularly often in this format, with meetings rotating between the three partner countries. Traditionally, one of the participants has a personal connection to the location where the meeting takes place.
Yesterday evening (15 July), the Ministers for European Affairs signed the Golden Book of Heilbronn, Minister of State Link’s home town. After talks in the Bad Wimpfen Monastery, the Weimar Triangle delegations were welcomed to Bad Wimpfen’s town hall where Minister of State Link, Minister Delegate for European Affairs Repentin and Polish State Secretary for European Affairs Piotr Serafin signed the city’s Golden Book.