Ministers for European Affairs to discuss future of Europe with young people
Government Communications Department.
The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union will convene informal videoconference of Ministers for EU Affairs on 1 December. The Ministers will discuss the future of the EU and efforts to strengthen EU coordination in the fight against COVID-19. Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
The first working session of the meeting will focus on the future of the EU. The session will begin with a short progress report from the German Presidency on the preparations for Conference on the Future of Europe. After this, the ministers will have a discussion with a group of young Europeans on what Europe should look like in 10–15 years’ time.
In Finland’s view, the conference should aim for wide-ranging inclusion and consultation of citizens, especially young people. The conference should focus on the issues that are most important to citizens, such as the rule of law, climate change, comprehensive security and the EU’s role on the international stage. The aim is to hold the conference as soon as possible, taking into account the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the conference will be reported to the European Council in 2022.
In their second working session, the ministers will discuss intensifying EU coordination in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to mitigate its economic and social impact. The aim is to exchange views on good practices at the EU level and at EU Member States’ borders. The ministers will also discuss areas where coordination and cooperation could be further improved. Finland supports the EU’s strong joint efforts to tackle COVID-19. To overcome the virus, we must promote a common, effective EU strategy.
Due to COVID-19, the videoconference on 1 December will replace the informal meeting of Ministers for European Affairs that the German Presidency had planned to hold on 31 November–1 December in Wiesbaden. At informal ministerial meetings, the ministers hold open discussions on issues of a general nature. The informal meetings are not Council meetings, and the ministers do not make formal decisions.
Representatives of the Western Balkan countries have also been invited to the informal video meeting.