Minister for European Affairs Tuppurainen to General Affairs Council in Luxembourg

Government Communications Department 17.6.2019 13.20 | Published in English on 17.6.2019 at 14.39
Press release 315/2019

Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen will attend the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 18 June. The topics to be discussed include the preparations for the European Council (20–21 June), multiannual financial framework of the EU for 2021–2027, current situation in enlargement negotiations, and European Semester 2019.

The Council will prepare for the European Council meeting at the end of the week on the basis of the draft conclusions. On the agenda at the June European Council are senior appointments to EU institutions, adoption of the 2019–2024 Strategic Agenda for the Union, future multiannual financial framework, climate action by the EU, and European Semester. Finland considers it important to reach an agreement on a balanced package of senior appointments within the EU as soon as possible.

The Council will have a policy debate on the next multiannual financial framework, i.e. the long-term EU Budget (2021–2027). The Romanian Presidency will present an updated draft of the negotiating box. For Finland it is important that the Conclusions of the June European Council would set the objective of trying to reach an agreement on the multiannual financial framework at the level of Heads of State or Government by the end of 2019.

The agenda also includes the Commission’s progress report on enlargement published at the end of May and the Council Conclusions to be adopted concerning this. Finland considers that a credible enlargement policy is an investment in peace, stability, security and economic growth in the whole of Europe. Enlargement policy must be based on rigorous conditionality and fulfilment of all membership criteria. Finland is in favour of starting membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

With regard to the European Semester, the Council is to discuss the horizontal report concerning the country-specific recommendations for 2019 and provide a summary to the European Council.

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. This is the first time Minister Tuppurainen attends the Council, which she will chair during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU from July to December 2019.

Inquiries: Heli Siivola, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 476, Prime Minister’s Office