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Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs discusses measures to improve preparedness for crises and develop European defence industry

Government Communications Department
Publication date 3.5.2024 10.52 | Published in English on 3.5.2024 at 13.54
Press release

In its meeting on Friday 3 May, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs rounded out its earlier positions on strengthening the EU’s resilience and preparedness for crises. The Ministerial Committee also discussed ways to develop the European defence industry and outlined Finland's positions for two upcoming ministerial meetings.

Promoting comprehensive security in Europe is one of the key objectives of the Government’s EU policy, and Finland’s initiative for an EU-wide preparedness strategy has been well received by its EU partners. At the March European Council, the EU leaders instructed the Commission to propose a preparedness strategy for the EU. In this context, the Belgian Presidency is drawing up Council conclusions on horizontal crisis management. As part of the preparations for these negotiations and Finland’s efforts to influence the programme for the next European Commission, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs elaborated on its earlier positions at today’s meeting. The Ministerial Committee noted that Finland considers it particularly important to promote the EU’s preparedness and ensure a comprehensive and coordinated crisis response that takes into account all potential threats. When it comes to strengthening comprehensive security at the EU level and developing the strategy for the preparedness union, the most important objective should be to improve the level of preparedness in the Member States and the EU as a whole. Finland’s cooperation-based comprehensive security operating model offers good principles for strengthening the EU’s preparedness and crisis response. Finland points out that each Member State is responsible for its preparedness and security of supply, and that measures at the EU level should complement and strengthen national structures as needed without undermining them. 

The Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs also discussed the European Defence Industrial Strategy published by the Commission in March and the proposal for a Regulation on the European Defence Industry Programme. The purpose of these initiatives is to promote joint defence industry procurement and projects among the EU Member States and to increase the share of European products in EU Member States’ procurement. In Finland’s view, strengthening the foundation of the European defence industry also plays a key role in supporting the EU’s defence-related preparedness. 

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs also outlined Finland’s positions for the following upcoming meetings:
•    Foreign Affairs Council (Development) (7 May)
•    Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (7 May)

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet in its development configuration. Topics on the agenda will be Ukraine, Palestine and EU engagement in fragile contexts.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will discuss issues related to gender equality and equal treatment. The Council will seek to approve conclusions on the economic empowerment of women, discuss the state of play of the proposed directive on equal treatment and hold a policy debate on women in public life. 

Inquiries: Tuomas Tikkanen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 523 5768, Jari Luoto, Director General, EU Affairs Department, tel. +358 50 468 5949, and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office

Agendas for the meetings of the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs and public documents discussed at the meetings are available on the Government website (in Finnish).