Finnish Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Finland_

Pulkkilantie 946, Asikkala, Finland (Taneli Lahtinen, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Ministers are outlining the priorities of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU to parliamentary committees, in a series of meetings.

Finland will hold the Presidency of the Council until the end of 2019. Hearings take place from 23 July onwards. This press release will be updated regularly.
Industry, Research and Energy:
Economic Affairs Minister Katri Kulmuni underlined on Tuesday that Finland will promote a modern industrial policy driven by the digital economy, with a strong focus on research and innovation to create sustainable growth in the EU. This will also be significant in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy. She also said that an agreement among member states on the EU’s 2021-2027 budget is an important objective. Transport and Communications Minister Sanna Marin told MEPs that building citizens’ trust in new technology should also be a priority, for instance on artificial intelligence.
MEPs welcomed the presentation, but stressed the need to be ambitious on the EU’s long-term budget, as an increase in funds, not least for research and technology, is needed to promote jobs and growth. The Committee Chair also urged the Presidency not to cut EU funding for research and innovation in the 2020 budget, as proposed by the Council.
Regional development:
Economic Affairs Minister Katri Kulmuni also presented on Tuesday the priorities in the field of regional development, which include making EU cohesion policy more result-oriented, efficient and thematically focused. She also stressed the important role it has in boosting research and innovation as well as in creating resilience to globalisation.
MEPs welcomed the announcement of the minister that the Presidency is ready to resume inter-institutional negotiations as soon as possible, with priority given to ensuring a prompt start of “next generation programmes”.
Employment and Social Affairs:
Employment Minister Timo Harakka told MEPs on Wednesday that the most important goal of the Presidency is ensuring a sustainable future. To achieve this goal, Finland will promote “an accelerated transition to a climate-neutral economy in a way that is socially sustainable”, he added.
Improving workers’ skills as well as protecting workers were among the issues debated. Questioned by MEPs on measures to assist people with disabilities into work, the Minister said they are currently drafting Council conclusions on promoting the employment of persons who have difficulty accessing the job market. Mr Harakka told MEPs that he is looking forward to further work on a possible EU minimum wage, while Social Affairs and Health Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen stressed that the European Semester and the EU Social Pillar should integrate the aspect of wellbeing.
Development and EU-ACP Relations:
The Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari stressed the importance of climate action, implementing the 2030 Agenda, values-based foreign policy, in particular gender equality and a partnership with Africa, on Wednesday. Given the extremely worrying context, the minister highlighted the need to defend humanitarian action based on the principles and respect of international law, as well as on support for vulnerable populations.
MEPs welcomed the minister’s focus on climate and stressed the importance of addressing gender inequalities and sexual violence in conflicts, as well as examining how to respond to the increasing number of forced displacements caused by climate change and the need for greater coherence of other EU policies with development goals.
Transport and Tourism:
Europe needs a broader offering of transport services, and automation will be key to solve environmental and safety challenges, Transport and Communications Minister Sanna Marin told MEPs on Wednesday. Regarding the legislative proposals tabled so far, the Presidency will try to reach a position on rail passenger rights and Eurovignette, will continue working on summer time arrangements and is ready to negotiate on the Mobility Package. They would also like to put air passengers’ rights back on the agenda.
Economic Affairs Minister Katri Kulmuni, responsible for tourism, said that the main priority in this field will be to boost digitalisation of the tourism sector to accelerate growth and employment.
MEPs voiced support for concluding the legislative work on the Single European Sky and Eurovignette proposals. They also quizzed the ministers on rail transport, how to overcome differences on the mobility package, the proposal to open up coach and bus markets, how to ensure that there is a reduction in traffic levels with increasing automation as well as financial support for the tourism sector under the new EU long-term budget.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Portugal: Budget MEPs back €4.66 m in job-search aid for 730 redundant workers

Data capture, not disclosure, is the way to meet our climate goals

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

COVID-19 and German constitutional court decision top meeting with ECB’s Lagarde

How impact finance can alleviate COVID-19’s economic symptoms

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

How storytelling can be a force for social change

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

Shaping Europe’s digital future: op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

The consequences of Brexit seen by a European young entrepreneur

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

How tiny countries top social and economic league tables (and win at football, too)

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

These clothes were designed by artificial intelligence

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

5G and the growing need for national CTOs

Delhi Declaration: Countries agree to make ‘land degradation neutrality’ by 2030, a national target for action

A health approach to climate change

Road use charges: reforms aim to improve fairness and environmental protection

UN chief calls for ‘a fair globalization’ with first-ever Global Goals Summit

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

Better Regulation principles: at the heart of the EU’s decision-making process

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Not a single child spared the ‘mind-boggling violence’ of Yemen’s war

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Nine children killed or maimed in Afghanistan every day: UN Children’s Fund

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

The DNA of the future retail CEO

UN ‘stands ready’ to support Haiti after earthquake hits northern coast – Guterres

EU investment budget for 2020: A boost for the climate

EU: All economic indicators in free fall

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

15 years of risk: from economic collapse to planetary devastation

Turkey: MEPs cut support by €70m due to no improvement in respect for EU values

On Google antitrust case: “Let’s face it, some companies want to hurt Google and it goes as simple as that”

UN-led Yemen ceasefire monitoring team gets ready to begin operations

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “We need more Schengen but reinforce control!”, France’s Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron emphasises from Davos

The time for cities to get smart is now

‘A global measles crisis’ is well underway, UN agency chiefs warn

UN launches new fund to advance sustainable development in Aral Sea region

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

EU cross-border payments outside Eurozone: MEPs scrap excessive fees

Parliament seals 2014 EU budget and the spending ceiling until 2020

Monday’s Daily Brief: #ClimateAction for the Pacific, Gaza blockade, attack in Burkina Faso

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

6 ways travelling professionals can cut their carbon footprint

UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ following policy shift over northeastern Syria

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s