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Sustainability and response to climate change the main themes at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 5.7.2019 14.00 | Published in English on 17.7.2019 at 14.59
News item

During Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will be responsible for around 120 working party meetings and five Agriculture and Fisheries Council meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg. In practice, this means chairing the meetings and being in charge of the arrangements before and after them.

In addition to the meetings in Brussels, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will arrange 12 meetings in Helsinki during the Presidency, the largest of which will be the bioeconomy conference on 9–10 July 2019[KA(1]  and the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Agriculture on 22–24 September 2019.

In addition to chairing the meetings, the main tasks of the country holding the Presidency of the Council include representing the Council in relation to other EU institutions and external bodies. The programme for Finland's Presidency is made up of the “trio” programme, the national Presidency programme, the continuation of ongoing matters, and the EU’s new five-year Strategic Agenda, which Finland will be the first holder of the Presidency to implement in practice. A central theme of the Presidency is sustainability and responding to climate change.

With this theme in mind, Finland’s Presidency is placing a particular focus on sustainable meeting arrangements. This will be visible in practice right from the start of the Presidency: Finland will not give out scarves or ties at the meetings; instead, we will communicate to participants that the amount of money saved on material gifts is being used to offset the emissions generated by air travel connected to the meetings. In addition to this, meeting participants from abroad will be given free public transport tickets for the two-day duration of their meetings.

During the Presidency, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will focus mainly on the following themes: advancing the EU common agricultural policy (CAP) reform, bioeconomy and the EU Forest Strategy. Some major factors at the background of the Presidency are the EU multiannual financial framework, new developments in various EU institutions including the start of the work of the new European Parliament, and Brexit.

Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:

Ahti Hirvonen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 2951 62337, firstname.lastname(at)mmm.fi