Prime Minister Katainen met President Van Rompuy in Brussels
During his informal visit to Brussels on 16 January, Prime Minister Katainen met President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes, the Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Prime Minister Katainen: EU moves forward in a positive spirit
On 13–14 December, the meeting of EU Heads of State or Government discussed the guidelines for the development of the Economic and Monetary Union to safeguard economic growth, wellbeing and stability in Europe. Economic policies in the Member States must be geared towards sustainability and disciplinity with the intention of enhancing competitiveness and boosting employment.
EU foreign ministers discussed Russia, Middle East, Syria, Western Balkans and the transatlantic relations
The EU Foreign Affairs Council convened in Brussels on 10 December. The topics of discussion at the meeting include Russia, the Middle East peace process, Western Balkans, EU’s southern neighbourhood and EU-US relations. Finland was represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja. See Minister Erkki Tuomioja’s comments after the meeting.
EU countries to continue negotiations on multiannual financial framework
On 22–23 November, the EU leaders convened in Brussels for an extraordinary European Council to negotiate on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014–2020. Today, on 23 November, the leaders discussed the second proposal put forward by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Work on the MFF will continue and the aim is to reach agreement early next year.
Negotiations on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework have entered their final phase
Negotiations on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF, the EU budget for the years 2014–20) have now entered their final phase. The EU Heads of State or Government are to reach agreement on the framework at the European Council meeting in Brussels on 22-23 November. The Cabinet Committee on EU Affairs outlined Finland's key objectives in the negotiations.
All languages are important in the EU – especially one’s own
Following the conclusion of its membership negotiations, Finland began to participate in the working parties of the Council of Ministers in spring 1994. At first we had observer status and were not entitled to speak, but following the signature of the Treaty of Accession in Corfu in June of that year, we acquired speaking rights.
Minister Stubb: Enhanced cooperation should not divide the EU
Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb participated on Tuesday in a high level foreign and EU policy seminar in Berlin. Stubb addressed the seminar together with the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, William Hague. In his opening remarks Minister Stubb stood for deepening the Euro zone. According to Stubb, enhanced cooperation should however not divide the EU in two and it should be open to everyone.
Progress in bank supervision at European Council
The EU Heads of State or Government, meeting in Brussels on 18 and 19 October, agreed on further measures to establish a mechanism for bank supervision. The EU leaders assigned the Eurogroup finance ministers to draw up, by the year-end, operational criteria that will guide direct bank recapitalisations by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
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