Skip to content

Ministers for EU Affairs to discuss EU enlargement and rule of law

Government Communications Department
Publication date 26.4.2024 14.50
Press release

The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will hold an informal meeting of the Ministers for EU Affairs in Brussels on 29–30 April. The main topics to be discussed are the future of the EU, enlargement and reforms related to the rule of law in the candidate countries. Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Anders Adlercreutz will represent Finland at the meeting.

The meeting will begin on Monday evening 29 April with celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU enlargement, which the present candidate countries will also attend. The agenda for Tuesday 30 April includes a discussion with the candidate countries on the reforms related to the rule of law in the accession process. After that, the discussion on upholding the rule of law in the enlarging Union of the future will continue among the EU countries. The meeting will close with a discussion on the future of the EU in view of the possible enlargement.

“Finland considers that enlargement based on the merits of the applicant countries and fulfilment of the membership criteria strengthens the Union’s own security, global status and economic wellbeing while also promoting democracy, the rule of law and the realisation of fundamental rights. EU enlargement would also mean an even larger internal market and new growth opportunities for Finnish companies,” Minister Adlercreutz says.

With respect to rule of law issues, Finland will continue its long-standing policy and promote the rule of law and the fight against corruption in the EU. What is particularly important is to ensure that funding from the EU budget is closely linked to respecting the rule of law, preventing the misuse of funds and combating corruption.

In Finland’s view, the EU must continue the support for the candidate countries to speed up their convergence and to help them fulfil the membership criteria. Alongside the accession process, the Union must make progress on the necessary internal groundwork. Primarily, the functioning of the EU must be reformed and its efficiency improved within the framework of the existing Treaties. In the current geopolitical situation Finland emphasises, in particular, the important role of eastern and northern Finland for the security of the whole of Europe. 

The ministerial meeting is informal and intended for exchange of views, which means that no decisions will be made. 

Inquiries: Satu Keskinen, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 302 and Crista Grönroos, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 441 4257, Prime Minister’s Office