Wednesday, 24 February 2021, NRW-UK: Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet exchanged views with the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, The Rt Hon Dominic Raab via video link.
In addition to the decades of intensive bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and North Rhine-Westphalia, the talks also dealt with perspectives for cooperation with the United Kingdom in the field of foreign and security policy at national and EU level. Other topics of discussion included the Corona pandemic, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 and the upcoming start of the anniversary year in which North Rhine-Westphalia and the United Kingdom celebrate 75 years of friendship. Both have agreed to deepen the close cooperation between the two countries.
Premier Armin Laschet as per statement below: “North Rhine-Westphalia’s founding history is fundamentally linked to the United Kingdom. This year we look back on 75 years of relations – from the founding of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to the present day. The citizens here still share a close bond with our British friends today. Now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union, it is important to build on this friendship and continue to fill joint projects, partnerships and perspectives with life.
Especially in times of the Corona pandemic, the exchange with our international partners is important in order to learn from each other’s experiences in coping with the pandemic. Beyond the challenges of this pandemic, it is indispensable that North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and the European Union work closely with the United Kingdom to also address future challenges that affect the entire continent.
In this context, dealing with China and Russia is also of key importance.” Dominic Raab has been Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom since July 2019 and, as First Secretary of State, is de facto deputy to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Previously, Raab was Minister for Exiting the European Union, so-called Brexit Minister.
In addition to the bilateral exchange between Premier Laschet and Foreign Minister Raab, virtual talks have taken place this month with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom Jill Gallard, with State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and International Affairs Dr. Mark Speich, and the Head of the State Chancellery, State Secretary Nathanael Liminski.
Cooperation between North Rhine-Westphalia and the United Kingdom
Close, friendly relations have existed between North Rhine-Westphalia and the United Kingdom for almost 75 years. More than 20,000 Britons live in North Rhine-Westphalia. There are currently more than 130 twinning arrangements. Around 129,000 employees in North Rhine-Westphalia work for British companies. Close economic ties are maintained by around 1,500 British companies in North Rhine-Westphalia and over 400 North Rhine-Westphalian companies in the UK.
The economic contacts are actively supported by the British Chamber of Commerce Germany, which has a headquarters in Düsseldorf with the North-Rhine Westphalia Chapter, and NRW.INVEST, which is based in the UK. The year 2021 is a special year for the friendship between North Rhine-Westphalia and the United Kingdom. Together with the citizens of the state, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Consulate General of the United Kingdom in Düsseldorf will celebrate this 75th anniversary of North Rhine-Westphalia with various formats and events.
For further information
Ministry of European and International Affairs of NRW: https://mbei.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/bilaterales-gespraech-von-ministerpraesident-armin-laschet-mit-dem-britischen
Her Britannic Majesty’s Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany (HE Ambassador Jill Gallard): https://www.gov.uk/government/people/jill-gallard.de
British Consulate General in Düsseldorf – responsible for NRW, Hesse, The Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate (Consul General Rafe Courage): https://www.gov.uk/government/people/rafe-courage.de
Main image: Design by Land NRW and Britische Botschaft Berlin.