Uutinen 28.4.2006

Finland’s EU Presidency during the latter half of 2006

Ministers discussed the preliminary agenda for Finland’s EU Presidency.

Picture: European Commission.

Government Communications Unit

Press release 351/2005 />
11 November 2005

Ministers discussed the preliminary agenda for Finland’s EU Presidency

On Friday, 11 November, the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs discussed the preliminary agenda and sector-specific priorities for Finland’s EU Presidency. Finland will hold the rotating EU Presidency during the latter half of 2006.

The preliminary agenda includes estimates on the key priorities and legislative dossiers of various policy sectors. Work carried out during Finland’s EU Presidency will be based on the Council’s working programme for 2006 compiled together with Austria, the preceding Presidency. The programme will be presented to the General Affairs and External Relations Council in December. The final agenda of Finland’s EU Presidency will depend on how many of the issues progress during the preceding Presidencies.

Finland aims to resume the discussions relating to the timeout held with the Constitutional Treaty and to actively advance the Union’s reform process. How the ratification process continues will be discussed at the European Council meeting held during the Austrian Presidency. The Finnish Presidency will continue the work on the basis of the conclusions of the European Council.

The aim is to reach a political agreement on the EU financial framework for 2007-2013 in the European Council held in December 2005. The ensuing revisions to proposed legislation relating to the financial framework, for example, is to be finalised in 2006.

Enlargement is one of the key issues. The Finnish Presidency will follow the progress achieved by Bulgaria and Romania in the fulfilment of their membership obligations and advance the accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey.

During the Presidency, the Lisbon Strategy will be effectively implemented with a special focus on growth and employment. In this context, Finland stresses the importance of innovation policy to Europe’s competitiveness.

As far as the Union’s external relations are concerned, Finland aims to enhance the efficiency and consistency in the EU’s external action. Other key issues include the improvement of the Union’s capabilities for crisis management, intensification of the transatlantic relations and cooperation between the EU and Russia plus the Northern Dimension. During Finland’s Presidency, the intention is to adopt a new political framework document for the Northern Dimension and to focus on the related partnerships.

Further information: Antti Peltomäki, State Secretary for EU Affairs, Government Secretariat for EU Affairs, tel. +358 9 1602 2180