Minister Stubb to meet President Schulz at European Parliament and to participate in financial framework negotiations in Brussels
On Thursday 26 January, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will have bilateral meetings in Brussels with the newly elected President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, S&D, Germany) and the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok (Group of the European People's Party, EPP, Germany). He will also meet Finnish MEPs.
On Friday 27 January in Brussels, Minister Stubb will attend the General Affairs Council (GAC) which will hold the first ministerial-level discussion during Denmark's EU Presidency on the EU's multiannual financial framework, the EU budget for 2014-2020.
The Commission issued its proposal on the financial framework in the summer followed by 70 associated legislative proposals in the autumn. The single most important priority during the Danish EU Presidency is to actively push ahead with the negotiations on the EU's financial framework. This will also be a regular item on the agenda of the General Affairs Council during the spring. The aim is to place the financial framework for consideration at the level of Heads of State or Government for the first time at the June European Council.
The General Affairs Council will now lay down the grounds for further discussion on the main priority areas and the overall amounts for the budgetary framework. From the Finnish perspective, it is essential that the Union's overall budget reflects both the challenging public finances situation and the need to improve the preconditions for growth and employment. Together with other net contributors, Finland advocates discipline in adjusting the level of the financial frame. For Finland, it is of key importance that, in structural policy, due consideration be given to the special conditions in Northern and Eastern Finland and that funding be secured for rural development.
The General Affairs Council will prepare the March European Council meeting which is to focus on the next European Semester. On the basis of the Commission's annual growth survey, the European Council is to determine the key economic policy challenges and provide strategic guidance to the Member States. The European Council is also to receive a report by President Herman Van Rompuy on the implementation of measures planned to strengthen the economic union and to ensure smooth cooperation with countries outside the euro area. The GAC will also hold a discussion on the follow-up to the December European Council and necessary further measures.
The informal meeting of members of the European Council, which is to take place on 30 January, will be a topic of discussion at the Ministers' informal breakfast before the actual meeting of the GAC.
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; Antti Timonen, Press Attachť, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 590 7231 or email@example.com