EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss the situation in eastern Mediterranean and Belarus
EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal video conference on 14 August. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main topics of discussion will be the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and Belarus. The situation in Lebanon and Venezuela will also be addressed.
Next year´s budget to strengthen Finland´s international effectiveness and support the post-crisis measures of the coronavirus pandemic
The budget proposal of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs covering the administrative sector for which it is responsible totals EUR 1.3 billion. It is EUR 29 million more than in the 2020 budget. Of the appropriations under the main expenditure title, the Foreign Service accounts for 21%, crisis management 6%, international development cooperation 66% and other expenditure 7%.
Foreign Minister Haavisto discusses with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto held a telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, 12 August 2020. In addition to the coronavirus situation, the ministers discussed issues relating to the European Union and Russia, the conflict in Ukraine, international Arctic cooperation and international arms control. The ministers also discussed bilateral issues between Finland and Russia and regional issues.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Riga
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Riga on 11 August 2020. He will attend the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace between Latvia and Soviet Russia. Haavisto will also have discussions with Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Foreign Minister Haavisto participated in support conference on Lebanon and the Beirut explosions
On 9 August 2020, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto took part in a support conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on Lebanon and the explosion that shook Beirut on 4 August 2020.
EU-Vietnam free trade agreement takes effect
A free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam will enter into force on 1 August 2020. The agreement will open doors to a growing market of over 95 million consumers. “The agreement offers new opportunities for Finnish companies in Vietnam,” says Minister Skinnari.
Minister Haavisto in Iraq: “Finland supports Iraq’s stabilisation”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto visited Iraq on 22–23 July at the invitation of Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein. The central purpose of the visit was to establish relations with Iraq’s new Government, to express support for Iraq’s stabilisation efforts, and to exchange views on topical bilateral and regional questions. Iraq is located in Europe’s neighbouring region and is an important country geopolitically. Its stability and the start of reconstruction are strongly in the interest of Finland and the whole European Union.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto visits Iraq
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto is visiting Iraq. During the visit, Foreign Minister Haavisto will have meetings with the country’s leadership and officially open the Finnish Embassy in Baghdad, which was reopened in autumn 2019. He will also meet the Finnish Crisis Management Force in Iraq.
Finland supports digitalisation of higher education in developing countries
Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted project funding under HEI ICI programme for 2020–2024. Over the next four years, the programme will support cooperation projects between higher education institutions in Finland and developing countries by EUR 11.2 million.
Foreign Affairs Council meets in Brussels to discuss Latin America and EU-Turkey relations
On 13 July, foreign ministers of the Member States of the European Union will convene for a Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. The main issues on the agenda will be the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean and the EU-Turkey relations. Other topical matters of discussion will be Hong Kong and the Middle East Peace Process. The meeting is the first EU meeting at ministerial level where ministers are physically present after the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.
Foreign Ministry continues to promote youths’ peace work in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting the Salam project
The Foreign Ministry’s Salam project, which promotes peace and reconciliation, will continue in the form of annual workshops until 2023. The project aims to provide Iraqi and Afghan youth with opportunities for networking and accumulating knowledge about peace work and about how to use media skills as a way of exerting influence.
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.