Uutinen 8.12.2008

Commissioner Louis Michel to visit Finland

Press release 456/2008
8 December, 2008

Louis Michel, European Commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, will visit Helsinki on Tuesday 9 December at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen.

The purpose of the visit is to discuss the general principles of development policy and cooperation and the role of the EU as a global development assistance operator. In addition to Minister Väyrynen, the Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and representatives of NGOs.

The topical theme of the visit are the future prospects of financing for development in the shadow of economic crisis. In their meeting, Commissioner Michel and Minister Väyrynen are also supposed to discuss how to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development by joint efforts and how to develop the private sector in developing countries. Other themes Finland finds important in the overall EU development policy include also development cooperation supporting trade, promotion of rural development and the challenges of climate change for developing countries.

Commissioner Michel will meet representatives of NGOs, research institutes, enterprises and political parties in a panel discussion to be held at the Representation of the European Commission in Finland. The theme of the discussion is “The role of civil society in the EU development policy and cooperation”.

The EU with its member states is the world’s biggest donor of development aid and the European Commission plays a significant role in the EU development policy.

Additional information: Advisor to the Minister Päivi Nevala, tel. +358 40 753 4375, Press Attaché Riikka Manner, tel. +358 400 739 824, and Counsellor Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, tel. +358 40 721 7159