Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Brussels on 9 October. The Minister will speak at a seminar entitled Europe and Africa: Neighbours with a shared future Investing in people, which is organised by Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union together with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"The Gates Foundation is a good example of how the playing field in which development cooperation is conducted has changed in the 21st century. Private foundations, such as the Gates Foundation in the health and education sector, are becoming increasingly important. In my speech, I will emphasise the importance of innovations, and I will also exchange ideas on this bilaterally with Gates," says Minister Ville Skinnari.
During the visit, Minister Skinnari will also have bilateral discussions with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioners-designate Jutta Urpilainen, Phil Hogan and Janez LenarÄiÄ.
"Jutta Urpilainen, who will be responsible for international partnerships, will be a very important partner throughout our current government term. Finland supports the EU's objective of renewing and diversifying cooperation with the global South. It is great that we are getting a Finnish Commissioner to take responsibility for this work," says Minister Skinnari.
Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan from Ireland will be responsible for trade, while Commissioner-designate Janez LenarÄiÄ from Slovenia will be responsible for humanitarian aid and European civil protection.