Minister Terho to the General Affairs Council

Government Communications Department 14.11.2017 15.49
Press release 517/2017
Minister Terho to the General Affairs Council

Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports Sampo Terho will represent Finland at the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels on Wednesday 15 November. On the agenda at the meeting is the EU cohesion policy and its future.

Finland considers that the future of the cohesion policy should be viewed in the light of the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU as a whole. The UK leaving the EU must be fully taken into account as a deduction in the total level of the financial framework. With regard to the present and new financial needs, some reallocation of the funds needs to be considered.

Finland also considers that the need for common EU funding for cohesion should be decreasing as progress is made towards better regional cohesion. Proportionally, Finland aims to benefit more from the cohesion policy. The future policy must be more efficient in supporting the implementation of growth-promoting structural reforms and development of an innovation-based economy. Under the cohesion policy more funds should also be targeted to migration. Finland considers it important that the conditions for directing the cohesion funding are agreed in advance, with due account for the principle of conditionality. 

Finland also aims to secure the special position of the sparsely populated regions in eastern and northern Finland, and that certain other special features, including the Baltic Sea, Arctic conditions and Finnish-Russian border region, are taken into account in the funding.

The aim of the EU’s cohesion policy is to reduce the development gaps between regions and to create the conditions for prosperity and wellbeing for people in a vulnerable position. The Commission should give a proposal for the future Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU in May 2018, immediately followed by the legislative proposals concerning the cohesion policy.

Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 476, Prime Minister’s Office