Speaking at an event to celebrate ‘Europe Day’, he launched the Welsh Government’s EU Strategy. The plan outlines how his government will promote and protect the interests of Wales in the EU.
The First Minister highlighted the areas where Wales works closely with the EU, including economic development, agriculture and climate change.
The launch follows the First Minister’s trip to Brussels in February this year to further strengthen Wales’ links with Europe.
The First Minister said:
"The European Union has a major impact on the lives of people in Wales and plays an important role in our nation’s prosperity. It makes decisions and passes laws that affect Wales, from business and trade, agriculture, rural development through to regional development.
"Being in Europe is good for Wales; it’s good for jobs, good for our economy. The Welsh Government is deeply committed to Wales being an active partner in the EU to help us build our economy and create sustainable prosperity.
"European money supports economic development as well as helping maintain our rural economy. Recognition of our clean beaches, the quality of our air, the health of our livestock – all have been stimulated by actions at EU level.
"What happens in Europe has consequences for us here in Wales. We are not protected from continental and global currents and that is why Wales’ position in the EU is something we have to work on constantly.
"The world is extremely competitive and Wales needs to face this challenge to retain and develop our prosperity. We cannot do this on our own and through the EU we have access to the world’s largest economy.
"Dealing as I do with investors from China, India, the USA and beyond, I know for a certainty that Wales’ stable and long-term membership of the EU is a large part of what makes us attractive to investors. That’s at the heart of why I’ll always make the case for Wales in Europe."