Foreign Minister Haavisto hosts a meeting on the Horn of Africa
Finland, under the leadership of Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto, invites EU foreign ministers to discuss the situation in the wider region on the Horn of Africa on 8 July. The conference will be attended by high-level representatives from the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations.
Joint press statement: Nordic Foreign Ministers receive report on Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy
On 30 October 2019, the foreign ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden decided to task Mr. Björn Bjarnason of Iceland to prepare an independ-ent report with non-binding proposals on how to further develop Nordic coopera-tion on foreign and security policy. This tasking marked ten years since Mr Thorvald Stoltenberg of Norway drafted a similar report presenting a range of recommenda-tions of which a large share have already been implemented.
Project support granted for 2021–2024: Projects by Finnish civil society organisations support civil societies in developing countries
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 25 million in project support to Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs), which will conduct development cooperation projects in developing countries in 2021–2024. Project support was granted to 36 CSOs for the implementation of 62 projects in 28 different countries.
Finland to be among lead partners in international gender equality work while UN Women celebrates its anniversary
Finland has been selected to join Generation Equality, a UN initiative to boost the achievement of gender equality goals worldwide. Finland will be a member of the Action Coalition responsible for the promotion of technology and innovation.
Finland supports Iraq’s fight against the spread of coronavirus
Finland has committed EUR 2 million to support Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is part of Finland’s development cooperation carried out in Iraq. The funds will be channelled to Iraq via the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), administered by UNDP.
European Committee of Social Rights ruled on pay equality in Finland
The European Committee of Social Rights stated in its decision published on 29 June that the measures to reduce the gender pay gap have not been sufficiently effective in Finland when measured by the gender pay gap in the whole labour market. The Committee also considered that the legal remedies available in Finland are not sufficient in a situation where a person is dismissed as a countermeasure to the requirement of equal pay, because the Finnish law does not require the reinstatement of employment.
Limited reception of residence permit applications to resume in Finnish missions abroad
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Finland suspended the reception of ordinary visa and residence permit applications starting on 19 March 2020. The reception of ordinary visa applications continues to be suspended but activities relating to residence permit applications were gradually resumed in the missions on 16 June 2020.
Finland supports innovative forest inventory in Myanmar
Myanmar is launching a forest inventory project, which will be carried out also in conflict areas. Finland will allocate EUR 3.45 million in development cooperation appropriations to support the project in the first two years of its implementation.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss transatlantic relations
EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal video conference on 15 June. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The meeting will focus on the relations between the EU and the United States. Ministers will have a discussion with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo via a video connection.
Parliamentary Committee on Crisis Management started its work
In line with Prime Minister Marin's Government Programme, the Government appointed a Parliamentary Committee for Crisis Management for the period of 6.3.2020 to 28.2.2021. The committee will draft a comprehensive policy outline, extending over government terms, to make activities systematically more effective and to ensure better use of resources. The start of the Committee’s work was delayed due to the coronavirus situation, but it was launched at a meeting on 11 June, taking stock of the current state and prospects of Finland's participation in crisis management.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting
On 11 June, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers between the EU and its Eastern Partnership countries. At the meeting, the ministers will discuss the EU’s support to Eastern Partnership countries during the coronavirus pandemic and the future priorities of cooperation. Preparations for the meeting of Heads of State or Government of the Eastern Partnership, to be held on 18 June, will also be on the agenda.
Finland to strengthen taxation capacity in developing countries with a focus on Africa
Finland's new Taxation for Development Action Programme aims to strengthen the taxation capacity of developing countries, to ensure tax responsibility of companies that receive development cooperation funds and to make the voices of developing countries heard at international negotiation tables.
EU development ministers discuss ways of supporting partner countries in the pandemic
On 8 June, EU development ministers will continue discussions on the EU's joint support for partner countries in responding to the effects of the coronavirus. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland in the informal video conference.
Finland participates in work promoting global access to vaccines
At the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June 2020, Finland pledged EUR 2.5 million to the Vaccine Alliance Gavi. Finland’s contribution will be used to help Gavi reach its goal to immunise 300 children in the next five years and to strengthen global access to a COVID-19 vaccine. By supporting the healthcare systems of the poorest countries, it is possible to prevent the outbreak and spread of infectious diseases globally.
Minister Haavisto to attend Foreign Ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group
On 4 May, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend a virtual meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group. Ministers will review the next steps in the fight to defeat ISIS.
Three families to Finland from al-Hol camp via Turkey
Three families who have escaped from the al-Hol camp have arrived from Turkey to Finland this afternoon. Children and women were interned in the al-Hol camp in Syria which they left in the spring. The families’ children are under ten years of age. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has consistently recommended that no one try to leave the camp in the war zone on their own.
Agreement extended between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Emergency Response Centre Agency – Foreign Ministry’s Consular Service Centre assists travellers in emergencies
In April, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Emergency Response Centre Agency signed an agreement, according to which the Emergency Response Centre Agency will continue to provide the Foreign Ministry’s round-the-clock services for Finnish citizens. Based on an agreement between the Ministry and the Emergency Response Centre Agency, the Agency has been responsible for the Ministry’s 24/7 consular services for Finnish citizens in difficulties abroad since 1 August 2018. The function is a part of the Foreign Ministry’s services for travellers as provided for in the Consular Services Act and the Security Strategy for Society.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend video conference of EU foreign ministers on Middle East and North Africa
EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an informal video conference on Friday 15 May. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will represent Finland at the meeting which will focus on the wider Middle East and North Africa and on the Middle East peace process.
Finland supports IAEA efforts to advance coronavirus testing worldwide
With support from Finland, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide testing equipment needed in detecting the coronavirus to the IAEA member states that have requested support. The fight against the coronavirus pandemic requires extensive testing worldwide. Support from the IAEA is helping to increase testing capacity in the countries most in need.
Elina Ravantti appointed Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
On 7 May, the Government appointed Elina Ravantti as Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She will take up her duties on 15 June 2020 and the term of office will end on 28 February 2025. Ravantti is currently Head of Yle Journalism Academy.
Finland to enhance Europeans’ digital skills – Elements of AI online course to be launched in EU countries
Finland will make the Elements of AI online course available to EU citizens in 2020–2021. The objective is to train one per cent of EU citizens in the basics of artificial intelligence, thereby strengthening digital competence within the EU. The course will be published first in Latvia on 6 May 2020.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend informal video conference of EU foreign ministers
EU foreign ministers will hold an informal video conference on Wednesday 22 April. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics on the agenda will be Ukraine and the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood countries. Additionally, ministers will continue discussion on the coronavirus situation.
Development Policy Committee: A record number of people to need humanitarian assistance due to coronavirus
In an analysis published on Tuesday 21 April 2020, the Development Policy Committee estimates that coronavirus affects the most vulnerable people in the world and can lead to record levels in the need for humanitarian assistance. The Development Policy Committee is an advisory body representing the parliamentary parties and society at large.
Finland's development cooperation disbursements in 2019 at EU average level
Finland contributed EUR 1,006 million to development cooperation and, calculated as a proportion of gross national income (GNI), was the ninth largest donor among the EU Member States, representing the EU average. In relation to the previous year, Finland’s development cooperation expenditure rose in real terms by 18.2 per cent, which is more than in any other Member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Finland increases humanitarian assistance as the coronavirus pandemic escalates
Finland provides humanitarian assistance to help organisations in the field to respond to changing and abrupt needs more efficiently. Preventing the spread of coronavirus requires support and timely action also in refugee camps and crisis areas.
Advisory Board for Human Rights appointed
On 8 April 2020, the Government re-appointed the Advisory Board for International Human Rights, operating under the administration of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Its task is to follow international human rights questions and to issue statements on related matters that are of fundamental importance.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to participate in informal video conference of EU foreign ministers
EU foreign ministers will hold an informal video conference again on 3 April 2020. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topic on the agenda will be the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Minister Skinnari to lead a consultative group to support foreign trade
A consultative group on trade policy, led by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, will be set up to work out solutions to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic for Finnish foreign trade both with third countries and in the EU single market.
Government resolution: support for repatriation flights possible
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government issued a resolution on 24 March allowing the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to plan to arrange reasonably priced repatriation flights for travellers who are no longer able to return to Finland using commercial connections. In line with the Government resolution, a maximum of EUR 4,000,000 in support can be provided for repatriation flights.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs adopts emergency management arrangements
On 16 March 2020, the Government decided that emergency conditions as referred to in the Emergency Powers Act prevail in Finland. From the Foreign Ministry's viewpoint, the serious disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is simultaneously affecting Finland's missions abroad, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland and Finnish society as a whole. The Ministry has therefore decided to make temporary changes in its management structure to be able to operate according to the Ministry's preparedness arrangements. These changes will take place on 24 March 2020.
Survey based on reviews by Finnish missions abroad: Education, equality, and Sanna Marin raised Finland’s profile in foreign media in 2019
A report entitled Finland in the World Media, based on Finnish diplomatic and consular missions’ reviews of the visibility of Finland in foreign media, shows that Finland continues to attract wide international coverage. The change of government towards the end of 2019 and Sanna Marin’s appointment as Prime Minister attracted exceptionally wide international interest in Finland. As in previous years, other key themes connected to Finland were the education system, equality, and gender equality.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to attend Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers
On 23 March 2020, the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers will be held as a video conference. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topic on the agenda will be the COVID-19 outbreak.
Finland suspends the reception and processing of ordinary visa and residence permit applications in the missions
Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, Finland, in line with the rest of the Schengen countries, has suspended the reception of normal visa applications in Finland’s missions with immediate effect from 19 March until further notice.
Finland supports the World Health Organization in responding to the COVID-19 virus epidemic
Finland will contribute one million euros to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its work in developing countries to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO will provide expert and material assistance especially to countries with a poor capacity to fight the epidemic.
Discretionary government transfers to civil society organisations operating in the field of foreign and security policy for 2020
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted a total of EUR 1,061,000 in discretionary government transfers to 13 civil society organisations (CSO) working in the area of foreign and security policy.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council and informal meeting of foreign ministers
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) in Zagreb on 5 March. The topics on the agenda are Turkey and Russia. In connection with the Gymnich meeting, an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council will be held on 6 March to discuss the situation in Syria.