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Home NATIONALFinland, France for common EU defence policy
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Thu, 16 Jun, 2016 12:33:58 AM
FTimes Report, June 16
French President Francois Hollande (R) and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila gesture as they speak during a mutual statement following a meeting, at the Elysee palace on June 15, 2016, in Paris. Photo AFP-Lehtikuva.
Finland and France want to develop a common security and defence policy for the European Union that will include closer cooperation between the EU and NATO. 
The two countries on Wednesday issued a joint declaration in Paris after the visiting Finish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä met with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, said an official press release.
“We must strengthen defence co-operation within the European Union because the security situation both in our eastern and southern neighbourhood has changed. We, together with France, hope that there is a common political will in the EU member states to broaden cooperation from crisis management to protecting Europe and the Europeans,” Sipilä said in Paris.
Finland and France believe a more strategic approach should be adopted in the EU’s relations with NATO.
“The June European Council and the NATO Warsaw Summit should create political momentum to further develop cooperation. Cooperation is important especially in the areas of maritime security, countering hybrid threats and supporting partners in training and exercises,” Sipilä observed.
The Finnish prime minister held discussions with the French leaders on other topical EU matters, such as action against terrorism, migration and Britain’s EU relations. Current economic questions in Finland and France were also addressed.
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