Prime Minister Sanna Marin will attend the European Council meeting to be held in Brussels on 15–16 October. The topics on the agenda for the meeting are the COVID-19 pandemic, the future relationship between the EU and the UK, climate change and external relations, the Finnish government said in a press release.
At the meeting, the European Council will examine the epidemiological situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU leaders will also discuss general coordination and the ongoing work related to vaccine development and distribution in the EU.
In this issue, Finland "would like to see close cooperation" between the EU member states, the government said.
The EU heads of government and state will assess the implementation of the EU-UK withdrawal agreement and will review the ongoing negotiations on the future partnership to begin on 1 January 2021.
With regard to climate change, the European Council will review the Union's progress towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The European Commission has proposed a new interim target of at least 55% in emissions reductions by 2030. At the moment, the EU is committed to reducing its emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to the levels in 1990.
Finland emphasises that the target must be in line with the climate neutrality target agreed for 2050. In Finland's view, it is important that decisions on raising the EU’s 2030 target be made as soon as possible so that the EU can report its increased target to the UN by the end of the year.
On the topic of external relations, the EU leaders will focus in particular on relations between the EU and Africa.
Finland considers it "important to develop the EU-Africa partnership" and, in particular, to strengthen political and economic relations.