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Finland to chair the High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth from January

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 8.11.2018 14.43
News item

Next year, Finland will chair the EU’s High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth in addition to holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Director for EU and International Affairs Janne Känkänen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will take up the position of chair of the EU’s High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth on 1 January 2018. This means that Finland will be in an excellent position to influence the EU’s toolbox for stronger competitiveness and the debate on EU’s competitiveness and growth.

Känkänen assumed the role of chair already in Brussels on 8 November 2018 when Ulrich Schuh from Austria chaired the last meeting of his term.

“The next 18 months will be an exciting time. Finland and our fellow Trio Presidency Member States will have the opportunity to steer the debate on the bigger picture of EU’s competitiveness towards a more modern and proactive direction,” Janne Känkänen says.

Finland’s first time as chair of the High Level Working Group

The High Level Working Group outlines the big picture for the future of competitiveness and growth in the EU and needs an approach reaching far into the future. It also prepares meetings of the Competitiveness Council where EU ministers convene to decide on measures to promote the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

This is the first time Finland will act as chair of the High Level Working Group. The position as chair of the Group is linked to Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will start in July 2019. Finland’s term as the Group chair will start already in January and last 18 months instead of 6 months, because the Group chair and two vice-chairs are appointed for the duration of the so-called trio presidency. Finland will chair the Group together with Romania and Croatia.

The High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth discusses matters that can have significant impact on the EU’s competitiveness. Themes include sustainable growth, transformation of work, digital economy and artificial intelligence, among others. The Group aims to increase the EU’s chances to succeed in global competition against other major economic powers, such as the United States and China.

Additional information:
Janne Känkänen, Director of EU and International Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, +358 29 506 4200