06/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2019 05:19
Government Communications Department14.6.201911.09| Published in English on 14.6.2019 at 14.15
On Friday 14 June, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs discussed several issues that are among the priorities of Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting in July. These include transparency, openness and the rule of law.
The Ministerial Committee decided that during Finland's Presidency information on ministers' meetings with lobbying organisations concerning EU affairs will be published on the Presidency website (EU2019.FI). The information to be published includes the name of the organisations and topics to be discussed. During the Presidency Finland will act in a way that is open and transparent, and will also make serious efforts to promote transparency in the EU in various respects.
Finland will also focus on strengthening respect for the rule of law and common values of the Union. The rule of law is one of the cornerstones of the activities of the EU, and it is closely linked to democracy and the realisation of fundamental and human rights.
The Ministerial Committee also discussed the enlargement package of the European Commission. Finland supports the Commission's proposal to start membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Finland agrees with the Commission's view that enlargement policy is an investment to peace, stability, security and economic growth in the whole Europe. Only countries that fully meet the membership criteria can be accepted as members. Enlargement will be discussed at the General Affairs Council (18 June). Other topics on the Council's agenda will be the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the Union and preparations for the June European Council.
Also on the agenda at the Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs were the EU budget proposal for 2020 and continuing the sanctions imposed by the EU on the Russian Federation. These sanctions were imposed due to actions by Russia that have destabilised the situation in Ukraine.
The Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs outlined Finland's positions for the following Councils:
The topics to be discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council are strengthening the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, implementation of the Global Strategy and situation in Sudan. On the agenda at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council are the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and fishing opportunities for 2020.
Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 306 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister's Office