EU leaders to discuss growth and employment
The EU Heads of State or Government will convene in Brussels on 12 March for a European Council meeting to discuss the European semester that is, the Union measures to enhance growth and employment in Europe. Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
As regards the European semester, the European Council is to determine the key economic policy challenges and provide strategic guidance to the Member States based on the Commission's annual growth survey and reports by other Council figurations. Finland calls for strong political guidance and enhanced peer pressure among Member States. Peer pressure provides a key instrument in situations where the Union has only limited competences, as is the case with new mechanisms such as the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Euro Plus Pact. In Finlands opinion, new economic policy instruments, including sanctions, should be used as necessary.
Finland stresses the significance of innovations in generating growth. At EU and national level, enhanced emphasis should be placed on innovation policy. In the service sector, it is important to promote entrepreneurship, innovations and healthy competition in order to improve our economies' productivity development. Finland also emphasises that the potential of the internal market should be fully exploited to strengthen competitiveness, growth and employment. Particular focus should be attached to the digital single market in order to unlock its significant growth potential.
The European Council will also discuss preparations for the international G20 and Rio+20 Summits, the EU's southern neighbourhood, the situation in Syria, the granting of candidate status to Serbia, and possibly the enlargement of the Schengen area and the results of the Eurogroup meeting in conjunction with the second adjustment programme for Greece. The European Council meeting is also to approve Herman Van Rompuy's second two-and-a half-year term as President of the European Council and appointment as chairman of the Euro Summits and to sign the treaty on stability, coordination and governance in the economic and monetary union.
Inquiries: Juho Romakkaniemi, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 9 1602 2055 or +358 400 505 269 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 9 1602 2180, Prime Ministers Office