Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be in Oslo on May 31 and June 1 for the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The last such meeting, which she also attended and which was marked by Finland’s formal membership in the alliance, took place on April 4 and 5.
This is one of the most important preparatory meetings for the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12. Its informal nature will give the allies a chance to more freely discuss the summit’s main themes, which include support for Ukraine, Sweden’s NATO membership, NATO’s priorities for its southern flank, and the expansion of the Strategic Concept to the Indo-Pacific.
She will convey the following messages:
- On our support for Ukraine: This will be one of the summit’s major themes, and the ministerial meeting will help prepare the announcements that may be made on that occasion. The minister will express our backing for a package of measures that will provide concrete, effective support for Ukraine as it moves toward interoperability with NATO, in full complementarity with EU initiatives. She will reiterate France’s support for the Alliance’s open door policy and Ukraine’s identity as a Euro-Atlantic nation. She will also express support for the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council that could meet during the Vilnius summit.
- On Swedish membership: After celebrating Finland’s membership in NATO in Brussels in early April, the Minister will reiterate France’s request for Sweden’s membership to take effect at the Vilnius summit.
- On the southern neighborhood: Commitments were made in Madrid last July with regard to the Alliance’s southern flank. With regard to the Allies’ expectations vis-à-vis migration and terrorism, the minister will call on each of them to make sure that NATO efforts complement those of other international actors and come in response to requests from partners in the region.
- On NATO’s handling of challenges relating to the Indo-Pacific: The minister will emphasize that NATO must remain focused on its mandate, which is the collective defense of the Euro-Atlantic zone.