European Union affairs

The Prime Minister's Office prepares the general guidelines of Finnish EU policy and coordinates preparation and handling of issues relating to the European Union in the ministries. Decisions concerning the general guidelines of Finland’s EU policy are made in the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister and assisted by the Government Secretariat for EU Affairs. EU affairs are coordinated at the civil servant level by the Committee for EU Affairs and subordinate sector-specific preparation sections. The Prime Minister’s Office directs the work of the Committee and participates in meetings of all sections.

 

The Prime Minister’s Office is responsible for action relating to institutional questions and general development of the EU. It also considers issues concerning the amendment of basic treaties of the European Union.

 

The Prime Minister’s Office is also responsible for the preparation of European Council meetings and coordination of issues considered at the Council meetings.

 

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Office handles the distribution of EU documents, maintenance of a register of documents, filing of documents and information services. These services are used by the body of civil servants preparing EU affairs, mainly ministries. The Europe Information and the Library of Parliament provide EU information services for citizens.

 

Issues related to the EU are handled by the Government EU Affairs Department. The Government Communications Department handles the distribution of Government information on the EU and coordinates the distribution of EU information by the ministries. The EU Information Management Unit is tasked with the distribution of EU documents.

 

The Prime Minister’s Office was also charged with the coordination of preparations and implementation of Finland’s Presidency of the European Union (latter half of 2006).