Ministers for European Affairs to prepare for October European Council
In its meeting in Brussels on Tuesday 21 September, the EU General Affairs Council will discuss the October European Council agenda, current situation regarding EU COVID-19 coordination, the state of play in EU-UK relations, the European Commission’s annual foresight report and draft work programme for 2022, the Slovenian presidency programme, and the progress of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
At the meeting, the Slovenian presidency will present its priorities for the next months:
· EU’s crisis resilience, recovery and strategic autonomy
· Conference on the Future of Europe
· European way of life and the rule of law
· A credible and secure European Union
The Council will begin preparations for the October European Council (21-22 October 2021) by discussing the agenda of the meeting. The topics on the agenda for the European Council are the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation and external relations.
The Council will also cover the state of play in EU-UK relations and in the EU COVID-19 coordination.
“At the meeting, Commission Vice-President Šefčovič will provide us an update on the relations between the EU and the UK. Key observations will most likely deal with the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. Finland naturally supports the Commission’s moderate and constructive approach. COVID-19 vaccinations have progressed but efforts to increase vaccination coverage will continue both within the EU and globally. We must also continue the discussion on lessons learned from the crisis so that the EU can be better prepared in the future,” says Minister for European Affairs Tuppurainen.
The Commission will present to the General Affairs Council its annual foresight report for 2021, which is themed on open strategic autonomy, and its draft work programme for 2022.
“Finland considers it important that the priorities in internal market and industrial policies remain balanced. We support measures to build European security of supply and to reduce and better manage the EU’s strategic dependencies. However, this should not be a euphemism for protectionism. The Union’s strategic autonomy and competitiveness must be based on the development of its own strengths as well as on fair competition and participation in the global economy,” Minister Tuppurainen notes.
In its meeting, the General Affairs Council will also receive an update on the progress of the Conference on the Future of Europe. In a related event in Finland, Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen opened the first in a series of “We are Europe” discussions in Helsinki on 16 September.
Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affair, tel. +358 295 160 476, Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 160 995, and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733.