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EU competitiveness ministers to discuss ‘Fit for 55’ and internal market development

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
27.9.2021 12.36
Press release
Kuvassa ministeri Haatainen ja ministeri Lintilä

The Competitiveness Council will discuss the EU’s climate package, ‘Fit for 55', from an industrial perspective, the role of better regulation in developing competitiveness and the internal market, and the governance reform of the European Research Area. 

The EU Competitiveness Council will meet in Brussels on 28 and 29 September 2021. The competitiveness ministers responsible for the internal market and industrial policy will meet on 29 September. Finland’s representatives at the meeting will be Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen and Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

The ‘Fit for 55’ package creates new business opportunities

The ministers will discuss the implementation of the new European industrial strategy updated in spring 2021, the speeding up of the green transition and the industrial perspective on the ‘Fit for 55’  package, which was issued by the Commission in July. The package aims to ensure that the EU will achieve by 2030 its climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from the level in 1990.

“European industry plays a key role in implementing the EU’s climate package and introducing new energy solutions. EU regulation must in every way support and promote innovations and digital solutions that enable industry to make the best use of the opportunities offered by the green transition,” Minister of Economic Affairs Lintilä says. 

The transition to a climate-neutral operating model based on the circular economy will create business opportunities and open up markets for high-quality recycled materials, clean technology and innovations. Sustainable bioeconomy solutions are also part of the EU’s strategic tools. While climate objectives should be ambitious, the impacts of measures on competitiveness should be widely considered. 

Investments in research, education and innovation that renew industry are necessary for the European industry and business to remain competitive and to transition towards a climate-neutral economy. Finland stresses the need for rapid progress in the negotiations on the climate package to allow sufficient time for the implementation of measures.

Good regulation enables efficient functioning of the internal market

The ministers’ agenda also includes a debate on better regulation. Better regulation will contribute to economic recovery and new growth. The Government Programme and the Government Report on EU Policy contain several entries on the development of the quality of EU law drafting and legislation.

“The EU’s internal market and competitiveness are founded on a well-functioning regulatory environment. EU regulation must be clear, efficient and impactful,” says Minister of Employment Haatainen.

Decision-making must be based on impact assessments that are sufficiently comprehensive. Finland supports the Commission’s objectives to develop impact assessment. Special attention should be paid to safeguarding the operating conditions of SMEs and avoid increasing their administrative burden. Well-prepared and clear EU regulations also contribute to an effective national implementation, which promotes the realisation of the rights of citizens and companies.

Finland supports strategy work on the EU’s international research and innovation cooperation

The ministers responsible for research and innovation will meet on Tuesday 28 September. Finland will be represented by Lintilä’s deputy, Tuuli-Maaria Aalto, who is Coreper I Representative in Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union. 

At the meeting, the competitiveness Council will adopt conclusions on international research and innovation cooperation. Finland welcomes the strategic work on international research and innovation cooperation in the EU. The ministers will also discuss the governance and implementation of the European Research Area.

Inquiries: 

Leila Vilhunen, Adviser to Minister of Employment (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 120 
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 171 
Taru Löyttymäki, Senior Specialist (Competitiveness Coordinator), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 295 047 177 

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