Ministers for European affairs to continue rule of law dialogue
The EU General Affairs Council will meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday 12 April. In its meeting, the Council will continue its annual rule of law dialogue and discuss the progress of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen will represent Finland at the meeting.
The rule of law dialogue will focus on the country-specific chapters on Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands and Austria in the Commission’s Rule of Law Report. In Finland’s view, it is important that the General Affairs Council draws on the Commission’s Rule of Law Report as a basis for its annual rule of law dialogue. The Commission’s Rule of Law Report provides a good framework for discussions on emerging developments related to the rule of law and other common values in the EU and its Member States.
“When we look after the rule of law, we are also looking after the unity of our Union. In recent months, the EU has demonstrated its strength and ability to make decisions quickly, and it is important that we work to strengthen this unity further,” Minister Tuppurainen said.
The French Presidency will update the ministers on the progress of the Conference on the Future of Europe. As part of the Conference, the Finnish Government organised the ‘We are Europe’ series of events last autumn and early this year. At the events, ministers spoke with people to hear their opinions on what kind of EU they want to be building. In Finland’s view, the Conference outcomes must be representative and they must broadly reflect the views of different kinds of EU citizens. The Conference will end on European Day, 9 May, after which the EU institutions are committed to reviewing its conclusions.
“In Finland, we have invested in the Conference on the Future in an exceptional way. We have organised citizens’ dialogues around the country, including the northernmost event in the entire Union in Utsjoki, where we heard the views of the Sámi, the only indigenous people in the EU. It is important to make sure that the voices of the people who participated in the events are heard in the conclusions,” Minister Tuppurainen says.
A meeting of the EU-wide Foresight Network will also be held in connection with the GAC meeting. The topic of this informal lunch meeting will be the theme of the Commission’s Strategic Foresight Report for 2022: the green transition and the digital transformation.
In the General Affairs Council (GAC), the Member States are primarily represented by their ministers for European affairs. The tasks of the Council include preparations for the European Council meetings. The GAC is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas, including negotiations on the multiannual financial framework and EU enlargement. Questions related to the rule of law are also an established part of the Council’s agenda.
Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 576 7745, Saara Pokki, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 478 6363, Prime Minister’s Office