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The Swedish Prime Minister visits

Sharing burdens fairly

Chancellor Angela Merkel has advocated swift agreement on a common European asylum system during a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. "Time is short and we must endeavour to negotiate a genuinely sensible, coherent system by June," said Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to the Federal Chancellery. Angela Merkel's meeting with Stefan Löfven served to prepare next week's European Council meeting Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

At their meeting in the run-up to the European Council meeting, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Swedish Prime Minister Kjell Stefan Löfven focused on European and global challenges.

In view of the possibility of the USA imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, Angela Merkel called for a solution to be found through dialogue. "We would like to see the WTO pay a more robust role." The planned tariffs "contravene the basic principles of the WTO". It would nevertheless be preferable to address and resolve the problems through discussion. The responsible European Commissioner has her full support on this issue, declared Angela Merkel. And it will be an item on the agenda of next week’s European Council meeting.

Common asylum system urgently needed

Angela Merkel warned of the need for speed in agreeing on a common asylum system. Germany and Sweden are in agreement in the field of asylum policy. The individuals who are entitled to stay here must be integrated as swiftly as possible, and those who do not have this entitlement must be enabled to return to their own countries, said Angela Merkel.

"We trust that a common European asylum system can be negotiated and adopted by June," said the Chancellor. This expectation will also be clearly communicated next week at the European Council meeting.

Angela Merkel called for solidarity with Italy, which has taken in a huge number of refugees as a result of its geographical position. "We want to have a fair European asylum system, which also involves fair burden sharing," said the Chancellor. She called on all sides to negotiate a sensible and coherent system by June.

Sweden – facilitator of dialogue and peace

The Chancellor also praised Sweden’s engagement in bringing together the USA and North Korea in the conflict over nuclear weapons. "I am happy to see all channels of communication that exist, especially when Sweden has used its good offices in this regard," said Angela Merkel following her meeting with Stefan Löfven. Naturally, she said, she is happy to see Sweden play a part.

Other items on the agenda included the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, the strategy for the Western Balkan states and the concomitant common steps to protect the external border, as well as measures to address the root causes of displacement. They also discussed the European Union’s multi-annual financial framework.

Mar 16, 2018