The European Commission is ready to work with the new German government, the head of the EU executive body said on Friday.
“The European Commission is ready for intensive cooperation with new German government”, Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conferencing following her meeting in Brussels with new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Von der Leyen explained that the fight against the fourth wave of the coronavirus and its new omicron variant, the climate action under the framework of the European Green Deal, and digitalization are main lines of action for the European Commission and Germany.
Speaking about EU foreign policy, she noted that the bloc aimed at maintaining good relationships with Russia, but added that the future of EU-Russia relationship would depend on Russia’s behavior.
Von der Leyen and the German chancellor reiterated their strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and warned Russia that aggression against Ukraine would entail serious economic and political consequences.
Scholz said that it was important to strengthen the bloc’s security and defense policy, and also explained that he has a vision of a “strong, sovereign European Union” that is able to respond to foreign policy challenges in a coordinated way.
He also stated that “any threat against any EU country will not be tolerated.”
Scholz will also hold talks with Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg later on Friday.
Scholz, who was inaugurated on Wednesday, went on his first official trip to Paris and Brussels on Friday.