OREANDA-NEWS. The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will meet in Brussels on 13 November. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini. The topics on the agenda will include EU strategic communications and the EU-Africa relations. In addition, the ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of defence will have a joint discussion on security and defence.

Foreign Minister Soini will sign a notification letter on Finland’s intention to join the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Finland has supported the launch of this cooperation in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon. Launching PESCO is an important step in deepening defence cooperation within the EU. The aim is to strengthen EU defence cooperation between the Member States that join the Permanent Structured Cooperation. This supports Finland’s long-term objective related to the strengthening of the EU as a security community and a security provider.

In their joint session, the foreign and defence ministers will also handle more extensively matters concerning the security and defence cooperation, including the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and preparations related to the European Defence Fund, as well as the development of the EU civilian crisis management. Conclusions will be adopted on this agenda item.

The foreign ministers will also discuss EU’s strategic communications, which includes strengthening of independent media in the EU’s partner countries, creating positive EU narrative, and countering disinformation. Finland supports the development of strategic communications and considers it an integral element of strengthening the EU’s own security and supporting resilience in partner countries.

Additionally, the foreign ministers will discuss preparations for the African Union - EU Summit. The Summit will focus on youth and will provide opportunities for seeking solutions to topical issues of interest to both the EU and Africa, including economic growth, security and prevention of violent radicalisation, youth unemployment, education, mobility and migration.

The Foreign Affairs Council will also adopt sanctions on Venezuela, and conclusions on resilience in EU’s external action.

At a breakfast meeting, organised in connection with the FAC, the foreign ministers will discuss with the Foreign Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov.