Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto will attend the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Monday, March 22nd. The main topic of the meeting is the southern neighborhood of the European Union and Turkey. In addition, the Council is having a discussion with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. Minister Haavisto will also attend the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels on March 24.
The European Union foreign ministers will hold a debate on Turkey before the European Council convenes on March 25-26. The European Union and Turkey have many common interests, and Turkey’s position in southeastern Europe is strategically important. The European Union is hoping that the relationship will turn out for the better after a difficult year. This assumes that Turkey shows that the country is ready and willing to enter into a partnership. Finland considers it important for the European Union and Turkey to build an effective and open relationship in the long term.
In February, the European Union adopted a connection to a new agenda for the Southern Neighborhood, including an economic investment plan. The foreign ministers are discussing the new European Union strategy to enhance cooperation with countries in the region. For Finland, it is important that the partner countries adhere to the common goals and values of the European Union. These include respect for human rights and gender equality, as well as observance of good administrative practices and the rule of law.
EU foreign ministers are also holding an informal videoconference with Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The European Union is a major player on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Finland has worked systematically for several decades for human rights and is a candidate for the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term.
Current topics on the foreign ministry’s agenda for March are Russia, Venezuela, the Western Balkans, Georgia and Myanmar. Regarding Myanmar, the intention is to agree to new sanctions against people due to the military coup. In addition, the ministers intend to take a decision on imposing new sanctions under the European Union’s global system of human rights sanctions.
As part of his visit to Brussels, Foreign Minister Haavisto will also attend the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting on March 24.
More information about the Foreign Affairs Council meeting:
Toru Matila, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, +358295350613
Matti Nissenin, European Reporter, +358295351780
More information on the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting:
Mikko Kinonen, Head of Department, +358295351820
State Department email addresses contain the form [email protected]