An Informal meeting of EU development ministers will be organised in Brussels on 20 February 2018. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen. The ministers will discuss, among other things, EU's financial instruments for external action after 2020, on which decisions will be made in the forthcoming negotiations concerning the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
Finland considers it important that the EU's financial instruments for external action respond to the current needs and support the political priorities of the EU better than before.
"The EU must retain its lead role in development cooperation matters, and assistance must be channelled to those who need it the most. Special attention must be paid to impact and effectiveness," Minister Virolainen says.
The EU's actions on migration are currently financed from multiple sources. Finland emphasises the development of coordination between different financial instruments as a way to avoid overlap and to increase the efficiency of the activities.
The EU is shaping its relationship with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) up to the present time. The cooperation is based on the Cotonou Agreement, which will expire in 2020. Finland considers that the relations between the EU and the ACP countries should be in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the priorities of the new European Consensus on Development. The special treatment accorded to the ACP countries should end and the partnership should be open to all developing countries that commit themselves to the principles of the agreement that concern human rights and democracy. The EU is to reach agreement about the negotiation mandate when the Foreign Affairs (Development) Council (FAC) meets on 22 May 2018, because the Post-Cotonou negotiations with the ACP will start in August 2018.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made a proposal to establish a new subsidiary focusing on development finance to boost the use and allocation of EIB resources and to enhance the visibility of the EIB in third countries. Finland is prepared to look into the proposal in more detail when further information is available on the structure and possible administrative scenarios of the proposal.
At lunch, ministers will discuss the reform of the UN development system with Achim Steiner, Administrator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 552 8200
Sari Lehtiranta, Director, tel. +358 295 352139