EU development and trade ministers to discuss support for Ukraine and global trade relations

The meeting agenda will also include global health and the EU’s competitiveness. Finland is represented by the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

The informal meeting of EU development ministers will be held in Stockholm on 8–10 March 2023. The main topic is the EU’s support for Ukraine and the reconstruction of the country, and how the support should promote Ukraine’s reforms and European integration process. The ministers have invited Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine, to attend the meeting. Finland will be represented by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, and Director General of the Department for Development Policy Titta Maja-Luoto from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“Finland continues to provide Ukraine with strong political, economic and military support. Finland is prepared to support Ukraine in the reforms required for its convergence with the EU, especially in the areas of education, rule of law, fight against corruption, and energy efficiency,” says Minister Skinnari. 

The EU stands firmly with Ukraine against Russia's illegal war of aggression. The EU and its Member States have provided Ukraine with EUR 67 billion in humanitarian assistance, macroeconomic support, military material aid and training support, material aid for the civilian sector, and development cooperation support. The reconstruction of Ukraine is expected to go hand in hand with Ukraine’s EU integration process.

The second item of the agenda, multilateral development banks, is another topical subject. “Development banks and, more broadly, the entire development finance architecture should be reformed and developed to better support the achievement of climate and development objectives. In this context, we must emphasise the private sector’s solutions and role,” says Minister Skinnari.

The third item on the agenda is global health, which has become an important part of the EU’s external relations. The ministers will discuss international cooperation in the health sector with the World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Trade ministers to discuss competitiveness, relations with the United States and support to Ukraine 

The informal meeting of EU trade ministers will be held in Stockholm immediately after the meeting of development ministers on 9–10 March. The meeting agenda includes the EU trade relations’ contribution to competitiveness, and the trade relations between the EU and the United States. The ministers will discuss trade-related support to Ukraine with Yulia Svyrydenko, Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy. The ministers will also exchange views with Bernd Lange, Chair of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament, on current trade policy questions and the legislative projects at hand. 

Finland’s representatives at the meeting will be Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, and Director General of the Department for International Trade Tuomas Tapio from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

“Open and rules-based trade and well-functioning trade relations play a key role in securing the EU’s competitiveness and in supporting the green transition. It is important that the EU remains open to international trade and investments. Trade policy is also a key tool for the EU in the ongoing geopolitical transformation and in ensuring that the EU can reinforce its position in global competition,” says Minister Skinnari. 

With regard to the trade relations, Minister Skinnari welcomes the active cooperation between the EU and the United States to ensure a favourable trade environment, and to boost competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic in the field of the green transition. In order to respond to global challenges, close cooperation should be maintained in other areas as well. The trade measures introduced last year to support Ukraine have been seen to benefit Ukrainian trade. Finland considers that these measures should be continued and welcomes any additional measures assisting Ukraine in the trade sector. 


  • Meeting of development ministers:
  • Mikko Autti, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 295 350 034
  • Titta Maja-Luoto, Director General, Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 295 350 017
  • Meeting of trade ministers:
  • Reetta Härönoja, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358295350740
  • Tuomas Tapio, Director General, Department for International Trade, tel. +358 295 350 918
  • The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' email addresses are in the format: [email protected]