Press Release 46/2014
26 February 2014
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will attend the Informal Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) in Athens on 27–28 February.The main issue of the meeting is the EU–USA Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. The Ministers will determine which questions should be the focal points of further negotiations. The negotiations are moving from the survey phase to the handling of specific topics. The next round of negotiations will take place in Brussels on 10–14 March. The matter is also an important item on the agenda of the EU–US Summit to be held in Brussels on 26 March.
During their meeting the Ministers will also consider the WTO Post Bali agenda. The main objective for Finland is that the results of the meeting in Bali are implemented. Of those results, the most important is the agreement on procedures for trade facilitation. The timetable set for its adoption should be kept. Finland also expects consensus about the working programme for continuing the Doha Round of negotiations during the current year. The working programme should include at least the market access of industrial products, which aside from the removal of customs duties also means the dismantling of other barriers to trade.The meeting will also address topical tripartite discussions between EU institutions with regard to pending legislative proposals. The subjects are, among others, the financial liability regulation pertaining to investments, the regulation on reciprocity in public procurement (International Procurement Instrument) and modernization of Trade Defence Instruments. The discussions will touch upon the EU–Mercosur trade negotiations and the launching of negotiations on investments with Myanmar. During the working lunch, international protection of geographical marking, for instance for feta cheese or Finnish vodka, will be discussed.
Additional information: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser to Minister Stubb, mobile tel. +358 40 841 7141, Ministry for Foreign Affairs