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EU development ministers’ meeting to focus on crises and fragile contexts

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 7.5.2024 8.41 | Published in English on 7.5.2024 at 8.48
Press release

The EU Foreign Affairs Council, in its development configuration, will take place in Brussels on 7 May 2024. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio will represent Finland at the meeting. He will meet representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service in connection with the meeting.

The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss support for Ukraine and the situation in Gaza. Ministers will also discuss the results of the recent report by the Independent Review Group on UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Earlier this spring, Finland decided to continue its support for the organisation.

“Improvements in risk management make it possible to continue support for the organisation. We now reserve ten per cent of our assistance to the UNRWA for the prevention of abuses,” says Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio.

The meeting will continue the discussion from the previous development Foreign Affairs Council on the conditions for EU engagement in fragile states. Initially the discussion was sparked for example by the military coups in the Sahel region, and now the meeting will seek a common view on how and on what conditions the EU should continue engagement in similar situations, to support local populations.

Finland and Estonia will present their ideas on improving the Global Gateway strategy, which reinforces the EU’s role in its partner countries. It is important that the infrastructure and other investments, such as in digitalisation, respond to the needs of partner countries and serve the objectives of EU's external action. The private sector has an important role in the implementation of the Global Gateway.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises should play a more prominent role. We propose that the participation of SMEs be considered a positive criterion in decisions on projects and financing,” says Tavio.

Other topics to be dealt with include the Summit of the Future to be held in connection with the UN General Assembly in September, the Belgian Presidency’s actions related to global health, for example cooperation between the EU and the African Union, and the effects of the review of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework on the NDICI-Global Europe instrument.


  • Titta Maja-Luoto, Director General, Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 295 350 017

  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].