Pedro Sánchez and Olaf Scholz defend the need to increase interconnections in Europe to put an end to Putin's energy blackmail

President's News - 2022.8.30

Schloss Meseberg, Gransee (Germany)

This is the first time that a President of the Government of Spain has been invited by Germany to participate in a meeting of its federal government. This exceptional situation has come about in response to the interest that Olaf Scholz's administration has shown in Spain's work on its latest National Security Strategyapproved by the Spanish government less than a year ago, in December 2021.

It comes at a time when Germany is in the midst of developing its own strategic national security plans, its first since the end of World War II. Spain already has the experience of having approved four previous strategies.

"I am very honoured to have been able to participate in this debate," said President Sánchez. "I take it as a symbol of the great harmony between our two governments and an extraordinary show of trust" in terms of what it means to invite a foreign head of government to participate in the Council of Ministers of another country.

"We were able to exchange views on the process of drafting and developing the National Security Strategy, which is all the more necessary given the challenges we are currently facing," stressed Pedro Sánchez.

To talk about national security is to carry out an in-depth analysis of our understanding of the world we live in, of its transformations and risks, and of what objectives and actions we set ourselves to respond to these.

The greatest of these risks and transformations today is the impact of Russia's aggression against Ukraine on our societies, our democratic institutions, the geopolitical balances affecting Europe and the EU integration process; as well as the adverse economic effects, which are proving severe in terms of growth, inflation, uncertainty and security of energy supply to Europe.

In this context, President Sánchez and Chancellor Scholz reviewed the recent measures adopted at the European and national levels to save energy and advance in the ecological transition, thus leaving behind dependence on Russian gas and oil. The two leaders also expressed a shared vision regarding the need to promote energy interconnections in Europe and the urgent need to reform the EU's electricity market, in line with what was expressed yesterday by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.

Similarly, and within a framework in which the EU is reasserting its global geopolitical capacity, Pedro Sánchez considered it "essential to revitalise our relations with other regions, such as Latin America and the Caribbean". In this regard, the President reiterated Spain's desire to continue to make progress, especially during the Spanish Presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2023. "My recent tour of the region a few days ago showed the interest that also exists on the other side of the Atlantic in strengthening the strategic alliance between the two blocs," said the President.

Bilateral relations

Spain and Germany are two nations that work closely together, with great cohesion in terms of shared interests, also at the EU level. This excellent bilateral relationship will reach a high point in the short term, next autumn, at the Spanish-German Summit (5 and 6 October), which Spain will be responsible for organising on this occasion. Secondly, Spain has been recognised this year as a guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Bilaterally, President Sánchez and Chancellor Scholz reviewed the major issues on the European and international agendas, with special emphasis on the current situation in Ukraine, the energy crisis, inflation and food security, amongst other topics.

"Our countries have always worked together. I believe that both countries are good examples of fruitful cooperation and that this should continue to be the case. Not only in the strictly bilateral sphere, but with the broad perspective offered by the European project, which both countries aspire to deepen and develop. Today's meeting was another step along this common path that we have travelled and that we want to continue to travel together", concluded the President of the Government of Spain.

Non official translation