Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs discusses development of military mobility

Government Communications Department 5.7.2019 9.02 | Published in English on 5.7.2019 at 14.03
Press release 368/2019

At its meeting on July 5, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs discussed ways to improve military mobility in the European Union and outlined Finland’s position for the upcoming Council meetings. Improving military mobility goes hand in hand with enhancing stability and security in Europe. Finland considers that the EU has a key role to play with regard to several aspects of military mobility, and is in favour of its further development.

Improving military mobility in the EU is about removing legal, infrastructural and procedural barriers. This means making better use of synergies, improving coordination and avoiding duplication of actions. The aim of military mobility projects is to facilitate the movement of troops and armaments into, within or from Europe. Projects carried out within the EU framework involve many different elements, such as speeding up the procedures to obtain permission to cross borders, harmonising customs practices and improving transport infrastructure. Military mobility is also a major constituent of EU–NATO cooperation.

For Finland, one of the key aims in improving military mobility is to safeguard the transport of materials and supplies. Finland contributes to efforts to improve mobility in various EU forums, in NORDEFCO cooperation and in the Northern Group. All military mobility projects share one basic principle: every participating country always retains full autonomy to decide whether to permit entry to another country’s troops. In the big picture, it is also important to coordinate the various initiatives on military mobility effectively.

The Government has submitted its opinion on the Commission proposal for financing military mobility as part of the multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027 in the e-letter 67/2018 vp.

The Ministerial Committee also outlined Finland’s positions for the following Council meetings:

  • Employment and Social Policy Council, 8 July
  • Eurogroup, 8 July
  • Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin), 9 July
  • Informal Meeting of Environment and Climate Ministers, 11–12 July (Helsinki)

The Employment and Social Policy Council will hold a policy debate on the economy of wellbeing, a concept emphasising the reciprocity of wellbeing and economic policies.

The ministers will exchange views on the employment aspects of a long-term climate strategy. They will also approve the country-specific recommendations and employment policy guidelines issued under the European Semester.

The main item on the agenda of the Eurogroup is follow-up work on the eurozone budget. Finland’s Presidency is prepared to take any proposals for regulations on the subject forward.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council will hold a discussion on new sources of financing for the EU's own resources.

Finland’s Presidency will host an informal meeting of environment ministers in Helsinki. The main themes of the meeting are climate change, biodiversity loss and the circular economy.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 050 468 5949, Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel.+358 295 160 995, Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel.+358 295 160 319, Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel.+358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister's Office