President Niinistö meets President Macron at Bastille Day celebrations

Finnish military personnel also marched in the traditional celebrations on the Champs-Éylsée in Paris.

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President Niinistö meets President Macron at French National Day celebrations, Paris, 14th July 2019 / Credit: TPK

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is in France today, taking part in the Bastille Day celebrations and meeting French President Emmanuel Macron.

The visit began with the traditional National Day parade on the Champs-Éylsée in Paris, with thousands of military personnel taking part. Among them, members of the Finnish Defence Forces, as the event marked the participation of EU countries in the European Intervention Initiative EI2 which has been spearheaded by the French government.

Macron used the event to call again for a European Union army, one of France’s long-cherished political ambitions. The concept would mean sharing resources on procurement, command and other operations. Finland is generally keen on deepening European Union military cooperation, as it isn’t a full member of NATO.

Finland, as well as Estonia, Denmark, Spain, UK and Germany, are among ten countries that have already signed up to become members of EI2.

After the parade President Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio attended a lunch; and the President also held a bilateral meeting with Macron.

President Macron and his wife paid a working visit to Finland in August 2018.

Finnish troops take part in Bastille Day parade, Paris, 14th July 2019 / Credit: TPK

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