Minister of Defence Kaikkonen to the defence ministers' meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

Ministry of Defence 8.11.2019 11.55 | Published in English on 8.11.2019 at 12.10
Press release

Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen will attend the defence ministers' meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 12 November 2019. The meeting will be chaired by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. The European Defence Agency's steering board will meet on 12 November before the Council meeting.

The Foreign Affairs Council, meeting in the configuration of defence ministers, will first discuss security and defence issues. The defence ministers will especially focus on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and its coherence with other defence initiatives. The EU has made significant progress in defence cooperation in recent years. One of the objectives of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union has been the efficient implementation of existing goals and targets.

The defence ministers are expected to adopt new PESCO projects. Finland will be joining a project that aims to develop defence systems against medium-range ballistic missiles and hypersonic missiles, among other weapon systems.

In their second session, the defence ministers will review the EU's military crisis management missions and operations. At present, the EU has six ongoing military missions and operations. Finland takes part in three of them. Crisis management is an important part of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Over lunch, the defence ministers will discuss EU-NATO cooperation with NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Finland's Presidency has stressed the importance of EU-NATO relations and the deepening of cooperation. Currently the cooperation between the EU and NATO focuses on countering hybrid threats and on military mobility and cyber security.

Inquiries: Tuomas Koskenniemi, Special Adviser, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 295140058, and Kristian Vakkuri, Senior Advisor (communications), tel. +358 295 140123.

EU2019FI backgrounder: EU's new defence and security initiatives https://eu2019.fi/en/backgrounders/new-defence-and-security-initiatives
EU2019FI backgrounder: EU military and civilian crisis management https://eu2019.fi/en/backgrounders/eu-military-and-civilian-crisis-management
EU2019FI backgrounder: Cooperation between the EU and NATO https://eu2019.fi/en/backgrounders/eu-and-nato