Today’s video conference of EU #defence ministers discussed defence implications of #COVID19, role of armed forces at national level and EU military and civilian missions & operations in 3rd countries.
Minister of Defence Kaikkonen to attend informal meeting of EU defence ministers
Ministry of Defence 11.5.2020
English on 11.5.2020
Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen will participate in the EU defence minister meeting on Tuesday 12 May 2020. Due to the coronavirus situation, the meeting will be organised via video connection.
The meeting will be chaired by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
The defence ministers are to discuss the impacts of the COVID19 crisis on the EU’s security and defence cooperation and military crisis management operations.
Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the informal meeting of the EU Defence Ministers
Bucharest, 31/01/2019 – 13:31, UNIQUE ID: 190131_8Remarks
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First of all, let me say how pleased I am to be in Bucharest, with this wonderful hospitality, for this perfectly-organised meeting yesterday and today of the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the 28 Member States of the European Union.
I would like to personally, but also on behalf of all our colleagues, thank Gabriel [-Beniamin Leș, Defence Minister of Romania] for all this work that he and his team have done and, again, for the exceptional hospitality that we have enjoyed over these days. This has helped – I believe – to create a positive atmosphere for the Ministers to have substantial discussions. As you know, informal ministerial meetings are not for taking formal positions or decisions, but they are extremely important to discuss in an informal setting and advance on the common work that we are doing.
Last night we had an extremely important and positive exchange on women, peace and security. It is a field where the European Union and its Member States are working intensively for many years, and where we coordinate our actions closely together with our main partners and mainly with the United Nations and with NATO. And we were pleased and honoured to be joined yesterday evening by the NATO Secretary – General [Jens Stoltenberg] and by the UN Undersecretary-General [for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix].
This morning, Ministers discussed the way forward on European defence. You know that, since a few years ago, we have established a completely new pattern of cooperation on European defence. It is a point of particular pride for me, because this is a field where European cooperation has been stalling or postponed for decades and a couple of years ago we managed to advance on this historic issue.
The Ministers assessed today that the implementation of all the different decisions we have taken on European defence is progressing well. We have decided to consolidate the existing EU defence initiatives, starting from the Permanent Structured Cooperation[PESCO] – we have now more than 30 projects ongoing – and others, for instance the European Defence Fund, in a coordinated manner and with a lot of energy and to focus on consolidating them and delivering results. I will present the report to the Council on this by the summer.
The Ministers discussed also the need to integrate the new European Union tools on defence into their National Defence Planning Systems. This is extremely important to make full use of all the potential of these instruments.
And finally our discussion confirmed the need for Europe to engage and invest more in a coordinated way on key technologies, including in the area of artificial intelligence. This is an issue that is extremely important for the entire world and for Europe as well. And we have started the conversation today and I have the intention of putting the issue of the European work on artificial intelligence on the agenda of one of the upcoming formal meetings of the Foreign Ministers.
Last but not least, I raised again the issue with the Defence Ministers of one of our military operations – Operation [EUNAVFOR MED] Sophia(link is external) – that, in order to continue its key work in the Mediterranean, needs to be supported by consensual agreement among Member States. I invited the Ministers to work in this direction in the coming weeks – because everybody values the work of the operation enormously; everybody has re-stated today the fundamental need to preserve the operation and its work that has brought down the number of arrivals of irregular migrants to the coasts of the European Union by more than 80 per cent, has arrested traffickers and smugglers and disposed of more than 500 boats used by them. And so I invited Ministers to work on finalising an agreement among them in the coming weeks in order to keep this fundamental operation of the European Union at sea.
Briefing on the dismantling of restrictions on early childhood education and care and primary and lower secondary education
The Ministry of Education and Culture will hold a briefing on the dismantling of restrictions on early childhood education and care and primary and lower secondary education on Tuesday at 9–10 in the Press Room of the Government Palace.
Minister of Education Li Andersson, Director-General Olli-Pekka Heinonen from the Finnish National Agency for Education and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr Otto Helve from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare will be present at the event.