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Minister Logar on a working visit to Finland for closer cooperation on green and digital economic revival

Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar is paying a working visit to Helsinki today. He met with his host, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavistö, the Minister for European Affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen, and was also received by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. He outlined the main highlights of the programme of the Slovenian six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year, focusing on measures to mitigate the economic and social effects of the crisis caused by the epidemic and to strengthen the resilience of the Union to a variety of challenges.

The Minister concluded his visit by taking part in a round table on building resilience against hybrid threats and preventing disinformation at the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki.

The discussion with President Niinistö focused on bilateral relations between the two countries and the most pressing global challenges. Minister Logar and President Niinistö agreed that the political relations between their two countries were excellent. In this context, they expressed interest in maintaining regular political dialogue and strengthening cooperation both at the bilateral level and within the framework of the European Union and other international fora. The two discussed the importance of strengthening transatlantic partnership and cooperation with the new United States administration, as well as touching on the EU’s relations with the Russian Federation and China.

In his talks with Foreign Minister Haavistö, Minister Logar welcomed the enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries and went on to outline the basic elements of the priorities to be addressed by the Slovenian EU Council Presidency in the second half of this year.

On foreign policy issues, foreign ministers Logar and Haavistö advocated for the strengthening of transatlantic relations, underlining the vital nature of ongoing political dialogue and enhanced constructive cooperation between the European Union and the United States of America as a strategic partner. They also exchanged views on the situation in the Western Balkans, with Minister Logar calling for a credible enlargement policy. He went on to present opportunities for cooperation with Finland on initiatives or projects of the ITF Enhancing Human Security in the region. Minister Haavistö presented to Minister Logar the ambitions of Finland’s developing Africa strategy.

In the afternoon, Minister Logar met with Finland’s Minister for European Affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen, and they agreed on the importance of bolstering the EU’s resilience and strategic autonomy which, however, does not imply that countries are planning to close their borders, but strengthen relations with the global world on the basis of free and rules-based trade. They were in full agreement on the need to create a health union and to make determined efforts to address the social dimension of cooperation as well as further respect for European values and the rule of law. Minister Tuppurainen shared the experience of the most recent Finnish EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2019.

Minister Logar pointed out that, in a context which would be still partly characterised by the COVID-19 crisis, the Slovenian EU Council Presidency will focus on measures aimed to mitigate the economic, financial, and social effects of the crisis and undertake efforts to strengthen the Union’s resilience to such challenges.

The Minister also visited the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki, where he met with Director Teija Tiilikainen, and attended a round table with experts on building resistance to hybrid threats.