Ministers for European Affairs discuss EU action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
On Wednesday 22 April, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen took part in an informal videoconference of Ministers for European Affairs on the measures taken so far by the EU and its Member States to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Their extensive discussions addressed the duration, scope and effectiveness of the measures and the sharing of best practices.
Minister Tuppurainen said that Finland actively supports EU cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and in future recovery efforts.
“In the past, the EU has shown its strength in difficult times. Now, we need this ability to work together and find common solutions at the European level once again,” Minister Tuppurainen said.
The Ministers’ discussion also highlighted the importance of safeguarding citizens’ fundamental rights and the rule of law while national restrictions and exceptional measures are in force. In Finland’s view, the measures taken to deal with the exceptional situation must be necessary, acceptable and proportionate, and they must be temporary.
“In exceptional circumstances, it is even more important to ensure that the fundamental rights of EU citizens are protected. The EU must to be a community of values that respects liberal democracy and the rule of law, both now and after the COVID-19 crisis,” Minister Tuppurainen stated.
The Ministers for European Affairs felt that the lessons learned from the crisis should be assessed in the coming weeks and that the EU should prepare a common recovery plan. The members of the European Council will continue the discussion on the subject at their video meeting on 23 April.
The Ministers did not make any formal decisions during their discussion.
Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 476 and Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 160 995, Prime Minister’s Office