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Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs discusses upcoming meetings and Commission’s 2024 work programme

Government Communications Department
Publication date 25.10.2023 10.19 | Published in English on 25.10.2023 at 14.24
Press release
Flags of Finland and the EU.

In its meeting on 25 October, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs decided on Finland’s positions for the October European Council and Euro Summit and outlined the Government’s priorities for the European Commission’s 2024 work programme.

The European Council meeting in Brussels on 26 and 27 October will focus on Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, the mid-term revision of the multiannual financial framework, the economy, migration and key external relations issues. Finland considers important that the EU continue its strong support to Ukraine while ensuring effective implementation of the sanctions imposed on Russia and preventing their circumvention. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has proven the need to strengthen Europe's defence capability, resilience and common foreign and security policy. In Finland’s view, the EU must also show unity and an ability to act effectively in de-escalating the conflict in the Middle East. Finland advocates for sustainable growth policy built on improving the public finances and debt sustainability of the Member States and on strengthening the resilience of the Economic and Monetary Union. A well-functioning single market is the foundation for the Union’s economic success and competitiveness. The Commission’s proposal on the mid-term revision of the multiannual financial framework is not in line with Finland’s objectives. Finland emphasises the importance of prioritising funding needs and ensuring that needs are met by reallocating existing funding as far as possible. With regard to migration, Finland’s position is that the EU must bring the New Pact on Migration and Asylum to completion while strengthening control at its external borders and improving cooperation with countries of origin and transit. At the meeting, Finland will also express its support for wide-ranging measures to strengthen the EU’s preparedness and highlight the importance of careful preparations for the COP28 Climate Change Conference.

The Euro Summit to be held in connection with the European Council on 27 October will focus on economic governance and policy coordination and the economic situation in the euro area. The leaders will also receive a briefing on the Eurogroup’s work to develop the European financial and capital markets and the digital euro. 

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs also outlined the Government’s priorities concerning the European Commission’s work programme for 2024. This is part of the Government’s work to implement the Government Programme, which states that Finland will speed up its formulation of positions and improve its ability to exert influence on EU affairs, including proactively.  The Government’s main priorities concerning the Commission’s 2024 work programme are:

•    The Communication on the EU climate target for 2040 (Commission proposal expected in January–March 2024)
•    The Communication on pre-enlargement reforms and policy reviews (Commission proposal expected in April–June 2024)
•    The European defence industry strategy (Commission proposal expected in January–March 2024)

Inquiries: Tuomas Tikkanen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 523 5768, Jari Luoto, Director General, EU Affairs Department, tel. +358 50 468 5949, and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 07 33, Prime Minister’s Office

Agendas for the meetings of the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs and public documents discussed at the meetings are available on the Prime Minister’s Office website (in Finnish).