UK-Nordic-Baltic Summit to develop “alliance of common interests”

Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, Finland

From George Parker and Andrew Ward, the Financial Times:  Britain’s prime minister will host an unprecedented “UK-Nordic-Baltic” summit on Thursday, bringing together the leaders of some of Europe’s most liberal, free-market, green and fiscally tough nations.

But others in Europe may see the summit as a power play by Mr Cameron – an attempt to forge a “northern league” of often Eurosceptic, Atlanticist countries that share a desire to rein in the power of Brussels and European Union spending. …

When Downing Street was asked whether Mr Cameron was forging an “anti-French alliance”, the prime minister’s spokesman pointed out that he had worked with Paris and Berlin to call for EU budget discipline.

Mr Cameron hosted a dinner for the leaders of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia at Downing Street on Wednesday. …

Mr Cameron clearly believes the meeting will cement bonds between the countries. “Why the Nordic and Baltic countries?” Mr Cameron said. “It’s simple. Right across the north of Europe there stretches an alliance of common interests. We get enterprise. We embrace innovation. We understand the potential of green technologies for economic growth. At a time when much of Europe is in desperate need of fundamental economic reform, it makes sense for us to come together for the benefit of all our economies: an ‘avant garde’ for jobs and growth.”

From Deutsche Welle:  The region already has strong economic links with two-way trade between Britain and the eight other countries worth around 54 billion GBP (64 billion euros, $86.3 billion) – a level similar to trade volumes with China or France.  (photo: Getty)

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