Minister Tuppurainen’s visit to Zagreb discussed NATO, EU enlargement and support for Ukraine
Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen visited Zagreb on 3–4 June. During her visit, Minister Tuppurainen met for discussions with Croatian State Secretary for Europe Andreja Metelko-Zgombić and Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament Domagoj Hajduković, among other things.
Topics on the agenda during the visit included Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and assistance to Ukraine, EU enlargement policy, Finland’s NATO membership process, and Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area and adoption of the euro.
“The discussions during the visit showed that two small Member States at different ends of Europe share a lot in common. We understand each other and share the effort to operate at the heart of Europe, influencing the direction of the European Union. Finland supports Croatia’s efforts to further deepen its EU integration. In my discussions today, I was able to hear Croatia’s strong commitment to supporting Finland’s application for NATO membership,” Minister Tuppurainen says.
The discussions highlighted the need to increase pressure on Russia and to provide many forms of support for Ukraine. Extensive international cooperation and coordination will eventually be needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction, and international financial institutions in particular play a key role. With regard to Ukraine’s application for EU membership, it is important to agree on concrete steps for Ukraine to become an EU Member State.
Finland supports the EU perspective of the Western Balkan countries, and their active commitment to EU integration and meeting the criteria are instrumental. Candidate countries must commit to the EU’s common values and their implementation in practice. Cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans is particularly important in the current security situation.
With regard to Finland’s NATO application process, Minister Tuppurainen said that Finland provides stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic region. Now, and later as a full Member of NATO, Finland shoulders its share of responsibility for European security. Finland will continue its strong support for the development of EU defence cooperation. At the meetings, Minister Tuppurainen expressed her gratitude to Croatia for its support in Finland’s NATO membership process.
Croatia has announced that it will seek to adopt the euro from the beginning of 2023. The Council of the European Union stated in its December conclusions that Croatia fulfils the necessary conditions for applying all parts of the Schengen acquis. With the accession criteria being met, Finland supports Croatia’s objectives with regard to both the euro and the Schengen area.
Minister Tuppurainen and State Secretary Metelko-Zgombić are colleagues on the EU General Affairs Council, whose tasks include preparations for the European Council meetings. The General Affairs Council is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas, including negotiations on the EU’s multiannual financial framework, EU enlargement and the rule of law.
Inquiries: Saara Pokki, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 478 6363 Satu Keskinen, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 508 6722, Prime Minister’s Office