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Government and ministries Media

European Council members discuss security and defence

Government Communications Department
26.2.2021 15.02 | Published in English on 26.2.2021 at 16.21
Press release 123/2021

On Friday 26 February, on the second day of their meeting, the members of the European Council exchanged views on security and defence and discussed issues related to the Southern Neighbourhood. Prime Minister Sanna Marin represented Finland at the meeting.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the leaders of the EU Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the Strategic Agenda for 2019 –2024. The Strategic Agenda was adopted at the June 2019 European Council and aims to strengthen the EU’s position in a changing environment. With regard to security and defence, the EU leaders wish to promote the Union’s interests and values and ensure its preparedness to effectively tackle all security threats and challenges. 

The leaders reaffirmed that, in the face of increased global instability, the EU needs to take more responsibility for its security. At the same time, the EU is committed strengthening its partnerships with the UN, NATO and key regional partners. The EU leaders also look forward to cooperating with the new administration of the United States in this area.

The statement outlines a number of steps to deepen security and defence cooperation amongst Member States, increase defence investment and enhance the development of civilian and military capabilities and operational readiness within the Union. The Union is also working to strengthen its ability to respond to hybrid threats, including cyber threats and disinformation. The Strategic Compass, which will guide the implementation of security and defence cooperation, should be adopted by March 2022 at the latest.

The EU leaders also discussed the political and strategic nature of the EU’s partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood. The leaders would like to renew and strengthen this cooperation and partnership with a view to tackling common challenges and taking advantage of shared opportunities.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Tuulia Pitkänen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 231, Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office