The second day of the conference was devoted by video link with members of the European Council on Friday 26 February to issues of security, defense and the Southern District of the Union. Finland’s representative at the meeting was Prime Minister Sana Marin.
In their joint statement after the meeting, the Heads of State and Government of the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024. The European Council adopted the Strategic Agenda in June 2019. It aims to strengthen the Union’s role in a changing world. With regard to security and defense, the Heads of State and Government stated that they wish to affirm the Union’s interests and values, as well as its ability to respond effectively to all security threats and challenges.
Moreover, the Heads of State and Government affirm that increasing global instability means that the Union has to assume greater responsibility for its security. At the same time, the Union is committed to strengthening its partnerships with the United Nations, NATO, and key regional partners. Cooperation with the new US administration is also expected in this field.
The statement outlines several measures to deepen security and defense cooperation between the countries of the European Union, increase investment, develop civil and military resources for the European Union, and improve operational readiness. ITU is also striving to enhance its ability to respond to mixed threats, including cyber threats and disinformation. The intention is to adopt the so-called Strategic Compass, which defines guidelines for security and defense cooperation, no later than March 2022.
In addition, the members of the European Council discussed the political and strategic nature of the partnership between the Union and its Southern neighborhood. The purpose is to review and strengthen partnership and cooperation. This makes it possible to better manage common challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
more information: Jari Luoto, Deputy Minister of State to the Prime Minister for European Affairs, Tel: +358 50 468 5949, Tuulia Pitkänen, Special Officer (European Union Affairs), tel: +358 95160231, and Anne Sjoholm, Head of Communications for European Union Affairs, Tel: +358 40 537 0733, office Prime Minister