Finnish government and European Commission: working together for a sustainable, safe and secure Europe
The College of Commissioners headed by President Jean-Claude Juncker met with Prime Minister Antti Rinne and his government in Helsinki on 4 and 5 July. The purpose of the meeting was to pave the way for the Finnish government and the Commission to work together in promoting the priorities of Finland’s Presidency and the new strategic agenda of the European Union.
The strategic agenda, which sets out the EU’s priorities for the next five years, was adopted by the European Council in June. Finland will be the first presidency to incorporate the five-year agenda into the work of the Council of the EU.
Prime Minister Rinne said: “It is particularly important for the Presidency and the Commission to pull together at a time when we are defending the cornerstones of European integration: peace, security, stability, democracy and prosperity.”
Prime Minister Rinne: EU climate neutral by 2050
At their one-on-one meeting, Prime Minister Rinne and Commission President Juncker discussed the key priorities of Finland’s Presidency, including climate action, the multiannual financial framework, the EU-Africa partnership, the rule of law, growth and security.
“We are particularly keen to work with the Commission on climate issues. We consider it vital for the European Union to speak with one voice in international climate negotiations and to reach unanimity on the goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050,” Prime Minister Rinne said.
Other topics discussed included EU enlargement and Arctic policy.
“I personally thanked President Juncker and the whole Commission for their efforts to develop an Arctic strategy for the EU in response to the challenges and opportunities related to the area. Finland’s Presidency wishes to strengthen the EU’s Arctic policy and to make mitigation of climate change its top priority,” Prime Minister Rinne said.
Group discussions highlight the long-term EU budget, competitiveness and safety
The members of the European Commission and the Finnish ministers met at the House of the Estates (Säätytalo), where they divided into three groups. The first group discussed the multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027, the second group’s theme was 'a fair, sustainable and competitive Europe', while the third group focused on 'an influential and protective Europe'. The Finnish government and the College of Commissioners then reassembled for a follow-up session to review the conclusions of the three groups.
Next on the agenda is a lunch hosted by the President of the Republic. The programme will conclude with a visit by the College of Commissioners to the Finnish Parliament. The Commission’s visit started on Thursday 4 July, when the Finnish ministers and the Commissioners met over dinner at Kesäranta, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
The meeting between the European Commission and the government of the country holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union is a traditional opening event for each presidency. Its objective is to prepare cooperation between the Commission and the presidency. Finland will hold the Presidency from 1 July to 31 December 2019.
Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949,
Pilvi-Elina Kupias, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 995,
Dimitri Qvintus, Special Adviser (Media Relations), tel. +358 50 477 7362,
Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319,
Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office