Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

President Stubb in Germany: Comprehensive security needs to be built together

President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb made a working visit to Berlin on Wednesday 8 May 2024.

German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier received President Stubb in the afternoon at the Federal President’s principal official residence Schloss Bellevue. The discussions took place in the surrounding park and covered issues such as bilateral relations between Finland and Germany, support for Ukraine, the Middle East and the global security situation.

After a joint press conference, the Presidents exchanged views on the defence of democracy with foreign and security policy experts and academics.

Later in the afternoon, President Stubb had a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The President and the Chancellor discussed Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and cooperation in NATO.

Finland has built up its comprehensive security

The visit began at the Hertie School, where President Stubb addressed the issue of comprehensive security and Finland’s preparedness.

Since the end of the post-Cold War era, security is no longer just about foreign and defence policy, the President said. “Security, both external and internal, is not the exclusive competence of the military and the police.”

In Finland preparedness has been built up over long period of time. “We have built our comprehensive security on six interlinked pillars: societal resilience, military and defence capabilities, security of supply, economic security, democracy and values and international cooperation.”

As examples, he mentioned the National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) responsible for material and operational preparedness, the national defence courses and the countrywide network of civil defence shelters.

“You have to be prepared. I call it the Finnish way. It takes years to build up the capacity, and I am glad we have. Our duty is to defend liberal democracy, open society and freedom. That means that we have to start taking comprehensive security in the 21st century more seriously. And this we cannot do alone, we have to do it together.”

On his one-day trip to Germany, President Stubb was accompanied by Kimmo Kiljunen, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Finland.

The previous presidential visit from Finland to Germany was made by President Sauli Niinistö in November 2023.

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