Informal Lapland meeting on economic affairs in Saariselkä
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb will host a high-level informal meeting in Saariselkä, Finland, on 23-25 March. The Lapland retreat meeting will discuss shifts in the global economy and ways to resolve the economic crisis in Europe. The Prime Minister of Latvia, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis; Director General of the WTO, Mr Pascal Lamy; Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Olli Rehn; Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union, Mr Íñigo Méndez de Vigo; and Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank, Mr Jörg Asmussen will attend the meeting.
The first meeting theme will examine shifts in the global economy especially from the viewpoint of the EU. The discussion under this theme will reflect the changes in the political environment and the debt crisis in the West, but also other emerging trends, such as tightening constraints on natural resources. These changes are forcing EU leaders to re-think their goals and strategies in external relations and reassess the EU's position and values in the new global environment.
The second theme will centre on how to get the Unions economy back on track. For the past two years, the economic crisis in Europe has defined the EUs economic agenda and shortened the time-horizon of policy planning. Overwhelmed by the immediate crisis, policy makers have been unable to devote sufficient attention to the Union's growth potential and long-term competitiveness. In addition to a strengthened economic union, joint vision on practical measures is necessary to make most of the market's growth potential. The EU needs to forge a common purpose and joint political will particularly to step up the development of the internal market.
Inquiries: Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Press Relations), tel. +358 9 1602 2242 or +358 40 552 8200; and Antti Timonen, Press Attaché to the Minister of European Affairs and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 40 590 7231 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and on media arrangements Mikko Norros, Head of Communications (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 547 6280, Government Communications Unit
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