In an exclusive interview with Euronews, the European Commission chief spoke about unity after the divided Trump era, relations with China and Russia, Britain’s exit from the European Union and the issue of Northern Ireland.
Ursula von der Leyen: Trust has returned to the G7. We are of the same opinion. We have the same interests and the same values. We are determined to take responsibility for the transformation we need to go through in order to build a greener and more digital society and economy. This is the basis of it all.
autonews: Let’s go to China, you’re announcing a kind of competitive infrastructure project among the G7 countries that could rival China in North Africa, Latin America and even the “One Road, One Region Initiative” in the world. Can you tell me exactly what this is and how it is against China’s interests?
UVDL: We’ve discussed extensively that it’s really important to promote this communication initiative and make sure that we, as the G7, have a better, more compelling model. It is important for us to convince our partners that investing with us does not present any difficulties – unlike in China.
euronews: We are in the UK: There is still a fairly serious discussion between the British government and the European Union over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is somewhat obscuring the negotiations here. When will you, as one of the first representatives of the union, give up persuading the British partners to abide by the agreement and when will you begin to look for another way out?
UVDL: The one thing that is most important to us right now: peace and stability on the island of Ireland. Respect for the Good Friday Agreement. We have shown great flexibility. We expect the same flexibility from our British friends to do their work and implement what we have agreed upon. This is the only way to find an answer to your Brexit questions in Ireland. This is a good solution. So now we have to go one step further.