Minister for European Affairs Tuppurainen to General Affairs Council

Government Communications Department 13.9.2019 15.46 | Published in English on 13.9.2019 at 18.40
Press release 454/2019

Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen will attend the General Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday 16 September. Minister Tuppurainen will chair the Council meeting, where the agenda highlights are the multiannual financial framework of the EU (2021–2027), preparations for the October European Council, and the rule of law.

As the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Finland will present a state of play regarding work on the multiannual financial framework of the EU. Finland sent a questionnaire on the financial framework to all Member States in July. Led by the Minister for European Affairs, Finland has had bilateral talks on the financial framework with the Member States. The questionnaire and talks will lay ground for Finland’s preparatory work. The aim for the Finnish Presidency is that the exchange of views at the October European Council would make a concrete contribution to finding an agreement on the financial framework by the end of the year.

The Council will also talk about the agenda of the European Council to be held on 17–18 October. Besides the multiannual financial framework, the topics to be discussed at the European Council include the follow-up to the EU’s Strategic Agenda (2019–2024).

The rule of law issues are high on the Council’s agenda. The Council will hold a policy debate in public session on enhancing respect for the rule of law in the EU. As part of these discussions, an evaluation of the rule of law dialogue in the Council will be launched. The deliberations are based on the discussion paper drawn up by Finland. The Council should get back to this topic in November.

In addition, the Council will hold the first hearing concerning Hungary. It is a question of a procedure under Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union concerning compliance with the common values of the EU. The procedure concerning Hungary is based on the proposal of the European Parliament of September 2018. The Commission will also give an update on the state of play regarding the rule of law in Poland.

“Respect for the rule of law is one of the key priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On Monday, we will launch a discussion on developing the Council's annual dialogue on the rule of law. This dialogue applies to all Member States, and is a positive and constructive way of conducting the debate on the rule of law in the EU. I will also brief the Council on the discussions at the conference on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights held in Helsinki on 10-11 September 2019. Situations in Hungary and Poland are also on the agenda,” Minister Tuppurainen says.

The General Affairs Council is mainly made up of the European Affairs Ministers from EU Member States Its tasks include preparations for the European Council meetings. It is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas, including negotiations on the multiannual financial framework and EU enlargement. Questions relating to the rule of law are also an established part of the Council’s agenda. During Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU (1 July–31 December 2019) Minister Tuppurainen will chair the General Affairs Council meetings.

Read more about the meeting and its agenda
Priorities for Finland’s Presidency
Multiannual financial framework: implementing the EU’s priorities (eu2019.fi)
Common values and the rule of law. cornerstones of EU action (eu2019.fi)
Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen (valtioneuvosto.fi)

Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 476 and Matti Niemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 45 679 1717, Prime Minister’s Office