Prime Minister Sipilä in Slovakia: We will establish a working group to resolve migration issues

Government Communications Department 17.12.2018 15.43 | Published in English on 18.12.2018 at 11.19
Press release 617/2018

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Slovakian Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini met on Monday 17 December in Bratislava to discuss topical EU matters and questions concerning Finland’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU.

“Prime Minister Pellegrini and I agreed that Finland and Slovakia would establish a working group to find a solution to the migration issue. Negotiations between the EU Member States have come to a standstill. I believe that by combining different options, we can find a way to get all of the EU Member States on board,” Prime Minister Sipilä said.

“Prime Minister Pellegrini and I also discussed Finland’s EU Council Presidency term and ways to further strengthen our bilateral relations. When it comes to financial frameworks, Finland and Slovakia have common objectives concerning agriculture and cohesion policy, for instance. Finland has highlighted the importance of minimising major cuts to the promotion of rural development in particular. New budget sectors, such as defence, also have our support. In all of the meetings, I wanted to place a strong focus on the need for the EU to tighten its grip even further in the fight against climate change. This topic was also on the agenda here in Slovakia,” Prime Minister Sipilä stated.

During his short trip following the EU summit, Prime Minister Sipilä also met with the leaders of Malta, Cyprus and the Czech Republic over just a few days. Prime Minister Sipilä plans to hold talks with the heads of all EU Member States in preparation for Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The bilateral talk with Prime Minister Pellegrini was the sixteenth such meeting.

“These meetings have shown that there is a need for more bilateral talks between the different EU states. We meet with our colleagues at the EU summits on a regular basis, but a one-on-one discussion allows us to delve deeper into the issues,” Prime Minister Sipilä commented.

Sipilä is the first Finnish Prime Minister to visit the Prime Minister of Cyprus in Cyprus. Finland’s Prime Minister last held bilateral discussions in Slovakia in 2004, in Malta 2005 and in the Czech Republic in 2008.

From Slovakia, Sipilä will continue on to Vienna, Austria for the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum, which will begin in the evening on 17 December.

Inquiries: Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister's Office