European Council: Europe needs a stronger single market

Government Communications Department 22.3.2019 16.39 | Published in English on 22.3.2019 at 17.04
Press release 172/2019
European Council members in a group photo

The European Council urges the European Union and the Member States to adopt measures to strengthen the single market. It is especially important to develop the service economy and the digital economy. The European Council convened in Brussels on 21–22 March 2019.

“The EU has not succeeded in making the most of the single market. That is why Finland and 16 other EU countries submitted an initiative on the priorities for the development of the single market,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

“Finland's approach gained support in today's European Council. Our business, industry, and employment levels all gain from a strong and competitive single market,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

Finland promotes an ambitious climate policy

The European Council reaffirms its commitment to the Paris Agreement and calls for stronger global efforts to mitigate climate change. The Council of the European Union must accelerate its preparations concerning the EU's long-term climate strategy. The strategy is expected to be completed by 2020.

“Finland is prepared to raise the ambitions of the EU's climate policy. Our aim is for the EU to complete its long-term strategy during Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

EU and China to negotiate their relationship in April

The European Council made preparations for the EU-China Summit to be held on 9 April 2019. The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the EU at the summit. Finland emphasises the importance of the EU actively seeking ways to commit China to the rules-based international trading system.

The EU leaders also discussed ways to tackle disinformation. EU countries should increase their cooperation to respond to internal and external threats. The European Council will revisit the matter in its June meeting.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Niina Nurkkala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs) tel. +358 50 347 2661 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office