Minister Stubb to General Affairs Council negotiations on multiannual financial framework
The EU General Affairs Council (GAC) will meet today, 24 April, in Luxembourg to discuss the EU multiannual financial framework with regard to issues concerning the common agricultural policy, cohesion policy and the Connecting Europe Facility. The Council will also hold a separate discussion on the cohesion policy legislative package.
The EU is preparing its financial framework, the budget, for the years 20142020. Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will represent Finland at the GAC meeting.
The common agricultural policy is one of the most harmonised policy areas within the EU. Its objectives, measures and possible national room for manoeuvre are determined at EU level. For that reason, the amount of available funding is of key importance. The Commission proposal includes the principle of enabling agricultural production in all areas of Europe. This is important to Finland, too. Finland's agricultural policy objective is to safeguard the real value of rural development funding.
As regards cohesion policy, Finland finds it important that due consideration be given to the special conditions in North and East Finland. Special financial support is essential for sparsely populated areas.
The Commission has proposed the establishment of a new Connecting Europe Facility with the aim of improving the existing patchwork of European transport, energy and digital networks and filling in missing cross-border links. Finland welcomes the initiative and supports its objectives. However, the Commission's proposal for the financing of the facility is too high.
As a whole, Finland is of the opinion that the multiannual financial framework must reflect the state of national budgets and demands for strengthened budget discipline. Finland supports a disciplined level of budgetary framework. The total level of commitment appropriations should be approximately 1% of the EU countries' gross national income (GNI) and the level of expenses EUR 100 billion lower than in the Commission's proposal. In practice, this would cut the Commission proposal for the next multiannual financing framework by approximately 10%.
Inquiries: Satu Keskinen, Counsellor, Adviser to the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, Prime Ministers Office, tel. +358 9 1602 2451 or +358 40 508 6722 and Antti Timonen, Press Attaché, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 590 7231 or email@example.com