Foreign Minister Soini to Strasbourg – Finland starts its Presidency of the Council of Europe

Finland will take over the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 21 November 2018.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will take over the Presidency from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Marija Pejčinović Burić in Strasbourg. During his visit, Foreign Minister Soini will also meet leaders of the Council of Europe.

In addition, Minister Soini will attend the World Forum for Democracy, held in Strasbourg, and give a speech about women's central role in the promotion of democracy and conflict prevention.

The basic tasks of the Council of Europe include promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and it has 47 member states. The total number of the population of the member states is over 830 million people.

The priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe are:

1) strengthening the system of human rights and the rule of law in Europe

2) supporting equality and women’s rights

3) openness and inclusion — as well as a focus on young people and the prevention of radicalisation.

Read more about Finland's Presidency Programme on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at to another website.)

Finland will start the Presidency at a time when the Council of Europe is facing major political, institutional and economic challenges. Topical political issues include Russia’s voting rights and non-payment of its financial contributions to the Council of Europe. The Presidency will culminate in a Ministerial Meeting in Helsinki on 16–17 May 2019.

Inquiries: Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 46 923 4581 and Merja Lahtinen, Desk Officer, tel. 0358 295 350 971.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format[email protected]