News and press releases
EU agriculture ministers exchanged views on the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) reform package beyond 2020 and its environmental and climate-related aspects at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on 15 July. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä chaired the meeting.
Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU has invited all the home affairs ministers of the EU and the Schengen associated countries and Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to discuss the Mediterranean situation over an informal dinner on 17 July, ahead of the informal ministerial meeting on justice and home affairs.
The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union met in Brussels on 15 July 2019. The meeting was chaired by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
In terms of energy policy, Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU will focus on the implementation of legislation. The Presidency will also have an opportunity to lay down long-term policies especially on climate issues.
The second day of the informal meeting of EU environment and climate ministers focused on expanding the circular economy into new areas. The ministers discussed the solutions offered by the circular economy to mitigate climate change and halt the loss of biodiversity.
The Permanent Representatives Committee, Coreper, decided on 11 July 2019 to establish a new dedicated working party on countering hybrid threats. The mission of the working party is to improve the resilience of the EU and its member states against hybrid threats and to support action to strengthen the crisis resilience of societies. The working party will also facilitate coordination within the Council and foster cooperation with the other EU institutions, services and agencies.
EU environment and climate ministers: climate crisis and biodiversity loss caused by overconsumption require joint solutions
EU environment and climate ministers discussed stepping up global climate action in their informal meeting. The first day of the meeting focused on the EU’s long-term climate strategy and messages to the UN Climate Action Summit to be held in September 2019. The ministers also discussed the EU’s objectives for halting the loss of biodiversity.
The climate leaders have changed since the Paris Agreement was signed. Now, small island states are leading the way; the European Union, China and Canada are leading the way; cities and businesses are leading the way. Even schoolchildren have gone on strike to lead the way. In other words, even smaller actors can be leaders in climate policy. This is good news for the EU, too.
Economy of wellbeing and climate action at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
The European Union ministers for employment and social affairs met in Brussels on 8 July and discussed the economy of wellbeing and the employment dimension related to the EU’s long-term climate strategy.
The main topics on the second day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness were the integration of the single market with a dynamic digital economy and modern industrial policy, and smart solutions for a competitive and climate neutral Europe. The discussions provide input for the sustainable growth agenda, which is one of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
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 main topics on the first day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness were research and innovation policy and the upcoming Horizon Europe programme. The discussions provide input for further work on the sustainable growth agenda, which is one of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Finland’s Presidency aims to maintain a strong focus on sustainability. A sustainable and growing economy will form the foundations for a sustainable future, and for Europe. Economic growth is necessary if we are to continue to secure our wellbeing in the future. But growth must be ecologically and socially sustainable.
Common values and the future course of internal security on the agenda of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Helsinki
Migration, the course of internal security and strengthening of common values and the rule of law will be the key topics as the justice and home affairs ministers of EU member states convene in an informal meeting in Helsinki on 18–19 July.
The president and members of the European Commission will meet the ministers of the Finnish government in Helsinki on 4–5 July. 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 and its objective is to prepare cooperation between the Commission and the presidency.
Dear friends all around Europe! I have the pleasure of addressing you directly here, as fellow Europeans. Whether you live in Kalix in northern Sweden, in Krosno, Poland, in Nice in the south of France, in Bologna, Italy or in Bad Segeberg in northern Germany, this column is for you.
Finland will offset emissions from air travel during the Presidency of the Council of the EU. This will be achieved by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously advance sustainable development goals. Offsetting flight emissions is a concrete climate action and part of the sustainable meeting arrangements for Finland’s Presidency. The approach is driven by the need to respond to climate change.