United support for Ukraine was the dominant theme at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) over the weekend. “It’s about Putin’s imperialist plans,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: “We will never accept this imperialist war, we will never accept that Putin tramples on international law.” Von der Leyen emphasized the great unity in support of the Ukraine: “We will continue to be united and we will keep this determination because it is our values and our existence that we are fighting for.”
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was connected from Ukraine, renewed his call for more weapons to be supplied. In the course of the conference, plans for a joint purchase of ammunition became more concrete. President von der Leyen drew parallels to the joint European vaccine procurement: “We could think of purchase guarantees, for example. They could give the defense industry the opportunity to invest in production lines more quickly now and increase the volume they can deliver.”
After the Commission President spoke to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the two released a joint statementEN•••. It states that in order to defeat tyranny, Ukraine needs “military momentum” and that it must be given to the country. EU and UK commitment to training Ukrainian soldiers will make a difference on the battlefield. Von der Leyen and Sunak expressed their confidence that the spirit of cooperation will also be reflected in all other issues that concern the EU and the UK together. The two had a positive discussion on the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol talks.
Ukrainian EU Membership
The question of how quickly Ukraine should become a member of the EU was also discussed at the conference. Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is generally optimistic: “Ukraine is a member of the European family, European culture, civilization and way of life. And this must be institutionalized.” However, the accession process must be respected until the actual admission to the EU: “They have to do their homework, we have to accompany them and prepare to welcome Ukraine and others.”
Fight Against Climate Change, Fight For Free Trade
Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, stressed the importance of a common global approach in the fight against climate change: “The climate crisis is not waiting and we have no time to lose in transforming our economy”. Timmermans emphasized that the EU will support countries in the Global South in developing climate-friendly industries.
Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, discussed future trade policy in the context of protectionist tendencies with international partners. His conclusion: “Despite growing tensions, open and well-functioning global supply chains remain crucial. The EU relies on them for our economic prosperity and geopolitical strength. Globalization is entering a new phase – it is not ending.”
EU Commission Represented With a Wide Range of Topics
The Vice-President for Promoting Our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, discussed the construction of the European Security Union, particularly the cyber security area. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson took part in panel discussions on fighting corruption and better managing migration. The Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica, Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen were also represented at the MSC.
This article is originally published on germany.representation.ec.europa.eu