Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs outlined Finland's positions on the financial framework package and the recovery instrument
On 4 June, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs outlined Finland's positions on the Commission's proposal for a recovery package. The aim of the recovery plan is to support the resumption of the economies of the EU Member States after the coronavirus pandemic, and to help Europe to recover. The proposals concerning the future financial framework (MFF) and the recovery instrument form a single package, to be agreed upon at the level of the Heads of State or Government.
Finland is open to further work on the Commission's proposals within the necessary timeframe. The planned package of measures is of major economic and political significance. The Government stresses the importance of sufficient public debate in the context of the preparation, both in Finland, in Europe and in the national Parliament. For the decisions to be legitimate, broad acceptance by citizens is necessary.
The key issues for Finland concerning the MFF relate to an overall moderate level, the financing of rural development (Pillar II) and conditionalities, especially with regard to the rule of law and climate measures. At the same time, however, it must be ensured that other programmes account for the largest share of the financing and make it possible to respond to current challenges.
The Commission's proposal for the recovery instrument is not acceptable to Finland as such.
The following key changes must be made to the proposal:
- In its preliminary position, Finland has considered that the support to be provided from the recovery instrument should, in principle, be in the form of loans. However, Finland has also been prepared to examine other possible means to implement the instrument. During the negotiations, solutions should be sought to reduce the relative share of support in the form of grants in the recovery instrument.
- The size of the recovery instrument must be smaller, and it must be proportionate to the subsequent burden of payment incurred by the Member States and its duration.
- The repayment period in the recovery instrument must be shorter than the proposed 30 years, and the financing facility must comply with the principle of a balanced budget, laid down in the Treaty. The long-term restriction of the budgetary sovereignty of the Member States must be kept to a minimum.
- The duration of the recovery instrument must be limited to a shorter period than the four years proposed by the Commission.
The Government considers that changes to the recovery instrument are a prerequisite for applying the ordinary enactment procedure when deciding on the matter. Finland welcomes the linking of the recovery instrument with the Green Deal.
The Europe communication concerning the recovery plan also contains more detailed negotiation positions of Finland, and Parliament is requested to remain silent on the issue.
Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Matti Niemi, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 45 679 1717, Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel.+358 295 160 319, Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications, tel.+358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office