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Finland and several other Member States call for strategy to improve Europe’s competitiveness

Government Communications Department
Publication date 1.3.2023 16.43
Press release
Flags of the European Union in front of the European Commission building in Brussels
Photo: European Commission

In a joint letter to the presidents of the European Commission and European Council, Finland and nine other EU Member States call for a long-term strategy to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and global influence. The countries hope that the European Council can adopt the strategy this spring. The European Council will discuss the European economy and competitiveness in its meeting at the end of March.

In their letter, the Member States stress that strengthening competitiveness should be a priority for the EU at all times. However, due to high energy prices and stiff competition in green technologies, attention has recently been focused on short-term measures. The long-term strategy should be based on the EU’s strengths.

The Member States note that the strategy would complement the Commission’s latest initiative for a Green Deal Industrial Plan. Ensuring competitiveness will require technical leadership and breaking away from dependencies on the raw materials needed for the green transition, among other things.

The Single Market must be examined strategically and its fragilities must be addressed. The EU must boost its competitiveness and productivity in a way that ensures a level playing field and promotes the green and digital transitions. The service sector is particularly important here. The Member States emphasise that competition and free movement on the Single Market constitute the basis for Europe’s future growth.

The EU needs to promote a more ambitious trade policy, continue supporting the multilateral rules-based system and cooperate with key partners to advance competitiveness, resilience and prosperity. The EU should remain open for trade and investments, while also defending its interests against unfair trading practices.

The long-term strategy should be based on a needs analysis that identifies the ongoing challenges and strategic sectors in need of attention.

In addition to Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the letter addressed to the presidents of the European Commission and European Council was signed by the leaders of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Slovakia, who represent their countries on the European Council.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Saara Pokki, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 478 6363 and Rami Kurth, Communications Specialist (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 465 7963, Prime Minister’s Office