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European affairs ministers to discuss preparations for June European Council and rule of law issues

Government Communications Department
Publication date 29.5.2023 15.24
Press release

The EU General Affairs Council (GAC) will meet Tuesday 30 May in Brussels. There, the ministers will begin preparations for the June European Council. The GAC will also hold hearings on respect for the EU’s values in Hungary and the rule of law in Poland. Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen will represent Finland at the meeting.

The GAC will begin preparations for the European Council meeting to be held on 29–30 June. Topics on the agenda for the June European Council include Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the EU’s support for Ukraine, economic issues, security and defence, and external relations.

Tuesday’s meeting will also include hearings on respect for the EU’s values in Hungary and the rule of law in Poland. No substantive decisions will be made at the meeting, nor will the GAC be formulating a position at this time. Finland will continue to exert influence to ensure strict adherence to the EU’s common values. Democracy, the rule of law and fundamental and human rights are the foundation for all activities of the EU.

“In these times, commitment to the EU’s common values is especially important. The rule of law is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty, immediately after the article establishing the Union. Our common values form the legal basis for the EU,” Minister Tuppurainen says.

After the meeting, Minister Tuppurainen will visit Finland’s Permanent Representation to NATO. The purpose of the visit is to discuss cooperation between the EU and NATO, the security policy situation and the EU Strategic Compass, which defines a common vision for the EU’s security and defence over the next few years. 

In the General Affairs Council (GAC), the EU Member States are primarily represented by their ministers for European affairs. The tasks of the GAC include preparations for the European Council meetings. The GAC is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas, including negotiations on the multiannual financial framework and EU enlargement. Questions related to the rule of law are also an established part of the GAC’s agenda. 

Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 576 7745 and Emilia Tervonen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 516 1035, Prime Minister’s Office