EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss security situation in Eastern Europe

EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an Informal Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) on 13–14 January in Brest, France. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.

The topics on the agenda includethe security situation in Eastern Europe and the relationship between the European Union and China. In the meeting, EU foreign and defence ministers will exchange views on the Strategic Compass for European security and defence cooperation. Foreign Minister Haavisto will also attend a lunch meeting on the relations between the EU and the African Union, hosted by France’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

In the context of the topic focusing on the security situation in Eastern Europe, ministers will discuss Belarus and, in particular, Russia’s recent actions at the Ukrainian border and Russia's demands for security guarantees. In efforts to find a solution to the situation, Finland emphasises dialogue and diplomacy. It is important that all relevant parties take part in discussions on European security. The European Union is a key actor in this dialogue. 

The foreign ministers will hold a strategic debate on the current state of the relationship between the EU and China. China is a key trading partner for the EU and its Member States and an important player in global issues. In its relations with China, the EU must strengthen its independent, value based capacity. 

At lunch, foreign and defence ministers will discuss the Strategic Compass that aims to set out a vision for the EU’s security and defence cooperation. The aim of the Strategic Compass is to elaborate on the jointly agreed goals in respect of crisis management, support of partners, and protection of the European Union and its citizens. Finland’s objective is to reach a comprehensive Strategic Compass that develops and strengthens the EU’s Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy.


Jeri Aalto, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs,  tel. +358 50 472 0725

Matti Nissinen, European Correspondent, tel.  +358 295 351 780

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