President Niinistö at the Arraiolos meeting: We need a strong and united Europe

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö attended a meeting of the Arraiolos Group of European presidents in Portugal on 5–6 October 2023. This year, the meeting focused on the war in Ukraine, as well as the security in Europe and the challenges of the future.

The Arraiolos meeting of European presidents was attended by the presidents of 13 EU countries. Photo: Riikka Hietajärvi/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

At the press conference at the end of the meeting, President Niinistö stated that the European spirit was present in the discussions. He said all participants agreed that we need a stronger Europe to meet the challenges of today. “Part of our strength is the capability of unity. Europe must have a common voice and a common will.”

According to the President, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine has showed Europe’s capacity for unity, and it will continue to do so in the future. “The support for Ukraine continues. Ukraine must have a just peace that it accepts.”

In addition to Ukraine, unity is also needed in other areas. “We have daily news about climate change and even court cases dealing with it. I think the European Union has a solemn task here. We are leading the fight against climate change, and we must continue to do so.”

The President also raised the issues of artificial intelligence, quantum technology and cybersecurity. “It is very obvious that the one who is number one in these issues has a lot of power in his or her hands. Let us lead Europe.”