Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs preparations for EU Summit

Government Communications Department 10.12.2018 18.08 | Published in English on 11.12.2018 at 12.56
Press release 590/2018

On Monday 10 December, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs discussed Finland’s position on the European Council and Euro Summit and on the high-level Africa-Europe forum.

The topics of the December European Council (13-14 Dec.) are the multiannual financial framework (MFF), the Single Market, migration, and, under other items, disinformation and external relations. 

In the context of the multiannual financial framework, Finland still takes the view that the overall level should be set as close as possible to the current framework, taking into consideration the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Finland is not part of the group that takes the most stringent position. In follow-on work, Finland prioritises funding from the MFF for rural development. Finland considers the Commission’s new financial resources for defence cooperation and migration and the additional funding for research and innovation appropriate measures.  In addition, Finland supports the link between EU funding and respecting the principle of the rule of law as well as reinforcing the weight of climate funding. Finland advocates allocation of funds for employment and growth in the context of cohesion policy. It is important to take into account Finland’s special features, such as the country’s sparsely populated regions.

Finland also takes a favourable view to the measures being taken to develop the Single Market and advocates strong emphasis on Single Market development in the EU’s Strategic Programme, due to be adopted in June. Finland supports a coordinated European solution and comprehensive approach to the management of migration. Finland stresses combating disinformation as a means of preparedness against hybrid threats. The meeting will probably also exchange views on the EU’s position to Russia’s action in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait.

The Ministerial Committee  also outlined Finland’s approach to the forthcoming Euro Summit (14 Dec.). The Euro Summit is expected to take concrete decisions on the way forward on deepening EMU on the basis of a preliminary approach reached in by the Eurogroup.  Finland’s objectives are to strengthen the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), including debt restructuring procedures, establishing a common backstop to the Banking Union’s Single Resolution Fund and furthering the completion of the Banking Union. Finland can participate in developing new budgetary instruments for the euro area within the framework of its basic positions.

In Austria’s Africa-Europe forum (17-18 Dec.), Finland encourages developing relations between the EU and Africa on a more strategic level than before by deepening and diversifying cooperation. Finland supports more funds especially for climate change mitigation and adjustment measures. Finland also highlights the potential offered by digitalisation and stresses the need to create jobs especially for young people.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (International Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office