While it is a coincidence that my trips to the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Liverpool and the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels are taking place almost at the same time, there is a strong connection between them at the level of content. The EU and the G7 bring together many of our closest international partners and friends. We share common values with them – democracy, human rights and our commitment to an international order that is based on rules and not on the law of the strong. With them, we also share the knowledge that these values have not been given to us as a gift, but that we advocate them and must also be prepared to defend them. In Liverpool, we will therefore talk about Russia and Russian troop movements in the region bordering Ukraine. This is why we will also talk about China and the systemic competition between democracies and autocracies. And this is why we must, and this is my firm belief, also talk about the climate crisis and about what impact this is having in the area of peace and security – both for particularly hard-hit industrialising and developing countries, and also directly for us in Europe. We can try to delude ourselves that the West is an island, but water levels will not stop rising also here if we do not act now. It is with this in mind that we will make our common approach to the climate crisis one of the focuses of our Presidency of the G7 in the coming year.
My first EU Foreign Affairs Council awaits me in Brussels on Monday. Ahead of us is a packed agenda taking us from Ethiopia to Central Asia and then to Venezuela, and back around the world to Europe, Belarus and Cyprus. The fact that we coordinate our positions in this format of 27 Foreign Ministers each month, and in other formats almost every single day within the EU member states, shows the strength of this Union. I believe that bringing this strength still more resolutely to bear and deepening our unity and cohesion are a task for Germany and also for me personally as Foreign Minister. The EU is and remains the linchpin of our political actions. I want to express this firm belief very clearly once again at my talks in Brussels.