met with the Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, Timo Harakka, in Berlin today to exchange views on digital policy issues and the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the 2nd half of 2020.
Current topics for intensified German-Finnish cooperation, also at European level, include sustainable information and communications technologies, 5G mobile communications and the GAIA-X project for a connected data infrastructure.
Minister Altmaier said: “The digital transformation is both creating opportunities and confronting us with challenges that we need to tackle jointly in the context of strong partnerships. I look forward to intensive, trusting cooperation during the German EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020. I want to promote a strong, modern Europe which is close to its citizens, one that knows how to protect its values and interests. We want Europe to be an innovative centre with a digitally autonomous economy and society. Today I exchanged views with my Finnish counterpart on economic policy issues and digitisation goals. I believe that it is important that we create an environment for good and reliable conditions to further strengthen innovation, investment and growth in our countries and throughout the EU.”
Minister Altmaier is meeting with several of his counterparts from EU countries in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency in the 2nd half of 2020. For this purpose, he is making a tour of EU capitals, visiting a number of Member States, and will be holding further bilateral talks in Berlin and on the margins of Council meetings and informal ministerial meetings.
Economic relations between Finland and Germany are close. In 2019, bilateral trade amounted to nearly €20 billion. The Republic of Finland is an important trading partner for Germany. And Germany ranks first among Finland’s trading partners.