The EU Foreign Affairs Council will hold its first meeting of the year in Brussels on Monday 25 January. Finland will be represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Climate and energy diplomacy of the EU and discussions with the Foreign Minister of Japan will be the main topics of the meeting. At lunch, the ministers will discuss cooperation between the EU and the United Kingdom in foreign and security policy. The arrest of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny will also be raised.
EU foreign ministers want to send an encouraging message to countries outside the Union before the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. The EU wants to speed up the establishment of international partnerships to enable global green transition.
Finland emphasises the international link between climate change and biodiversity loss and expects the EU to give adequate consideration to the Arctic region in its policies. The ministers will also assess the geopolitical impacts of climate change.
The foreign ministers of Japan and the EU will discuss developments in the Indo-Pacific area, which extends from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, and regional security issues.
Japan is an important partner to the EU. The Union recently concluded a free trade agreement with the Asian country, and there has also been cooperation in other fields. Finland is of the view that the EU should strengthen dialogue with Japan and work to ensure better implementation of the agreements between the two parties.
Over a working lunch, the EU foreign ministers will have an informal discussion on the future relationship with the United Kingdom in foreign, security and defence policy, and cooperation between the two parties in this area. Both Finland and the European External Action Service are of the view that close cooperation between the EU and the United Kingdom in foreign, security and defence policy should continue.
The foreign ministers will also discuss a range of topical issues such as the arrest of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny after his return to Moscow.
Other topical issues on the ministers’ agenda will include the relations between the EU and the new US administration, state of the Iran nuclear agreement JCPOA, situation in the Horn of Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, wider security in the Persian Gulf region, Hong Kong, Venezuela and availability of coronavirus vaccines outside the EU.