Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs discussed Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

Government Communications Department 18.1.2019 9.59 | Published in English on 18.1.2019 at 14.44
Press release 25/2019

On Friday 18 January, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs received an update on key matters during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2019 and their current phase of negotiations. Before the meeting, the Committee discussed topical EU matters with Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.

The EU will be dealing with a number of wide-ranging and difficult matters during Finland’s Presidency. These include the next multiannual financial framework, the UK’s exit process, migration, climate policy, rule of law, and the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Finland’s Presidency agenda will have also other inherited points, including around 100 legislative projects still under way after the Romanian Presidency. There will be few new legislative projects during Finland’s Presidency, because the next Commission’s term of office does not start until November.

Finland will be the first Presidency to incorporate into the Council’s work the five-year strategic agenda the European Council will adopt in June 2019. Finland will continue to actively influence the priority areas that will guide the EU’s work over the next five years. Finland’s main themes will be growth and security. In the first theme the focus will be on trade policy and the single market and in the second on defence and on countering hybrid threats. Another important theme will be climate.

Growth, security and climate will be important elements in Finland’s Presidency Programme, too.

During its Presidency, Finland will drive the EU agenda forward as a neutral intermediary and by seeking compromises. The Presidency seeks common solutions and does not promote national objectives. All meetings taking place in Finland will have effective arrangements that are based on principles of sustainable development.

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs also outlined Finland's position for the following Council configurations:

  • Foreign Affairs Council on 21 January
  • Eurogroup on 21 January
  • Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) on 22 January

The foreign ministers will discuss the Commission action plan against disinformation, the preparations for a ministerial meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States, and the preparations for a ministerial meeting between the EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Eurogroup will discuss the draft Council recommendations on the economic policy of the euro area for 2019, the international role of the euro, and the follow-up on the December Euro Summit.

The Ecofin Council will discuss InvestEU, a programme proposed by the Commission on 6 June 2018 to support investment, innovation and creating jobs in the EU. They will also consider how national stakeholders can take part in the programme. The aim of InvestEU is to boost Europe’s competitiveness and address the prevailing market failures and the long-term structural investment gap in the EU.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Niina Nurkkala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 2661 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office