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Ministerial Committee on European Affairs discusses EU strategic autonomy

Government Communications Department
Publication date 9.3.2023 15.56 | Published in English on 9.3.2023 at 16.19
Press release

In its meeting on 9 March, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs outlined Finland’s positions on strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy and influencing the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework, and on the topics to be discussed at next week’s meetings of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council and the Eurogroup.

Finland considers strengthening the EU’s strategic economy an important priority. In Finland’s view, the Union’s strategic autonomy must be based on developing its strengths, fair competition and participation in the global economy. Short-term measures to strengthen strategic autonomy must not be in conflict with the objective of building sustainable global competitiveness in Europe. Strengthening the EU’s resilience to crises plays an important role in ensuring strategic autonomy and in safeguarding the Union’s ability to operate independently.

Measures to strengthen strategic autonomy must take into account changes in the operating environment brought on by competition between major powers and geopolitical conflicts. That said, it is not only a matter of responding to the current situation, but of planning and preparing for the EU’s activities over the long term. 

Strategic autonomy generally refers to the EU’s ability to make determined efforts to promote its values and interests, to strengthen its partnerships both in neighbouring areas and globally, and to reduce critical dependencies. Work to strengthen strategic autonomy in the Union is currently underway, and this goal is strongly reflected in almost all EU policy sectors and concrete legislative initiatives. Finland will take more detailed positions on individual initiatives in connection with the relevant proposals.

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs outlined Finland’s positions leading up to the mid-term review of the EU’s multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027. The Commission has announced that it will submit its proposal for a mid-term review in May or June 2023. Finland will adopt its actual position on the mid-term review once the Commission has issued its proposal on the matter.

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs also outlined Finland’s positions for the Eurogroup meeting on 13 March and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting on 14 March.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the economic governance review. The council will also adopt Finland’s updated recovery and resilience plan. 

The Eurogroup will discuss fiscal policy guidance for 2024, preparations for international meetings, the euro area-related parts of the economic governance review and inflation developments in the euro area and Member States, and will hold a strategic discussion on policy objectives related to the digital euro.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, Director General, EU Affairs Department, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Saara Pokki, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 478 6363 and Lauri Heikkinen, Communications Specialist, tel. +358 46 923 5090, Prime Minister’s Office