Finland to recognise Kosovo independence along with the majority of EU Member States
European Union foreign ministers reached an agreement concerning the EU stand on the independence declaration of Kosovo. Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva considers the result very important with regard to the development of the region and the unity of the EU.
Independent Reflection Group to consider EU’s future
The European Council that met in Brussels on 14 December decided to establish an independent Reflection Group to consider the future of the European Union. The Group will be chaired by former Prime Minister of Spain, Felipe Gonzalez. Deputy chairpersons will be Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Shell and Nokia, Jorma Ollila, and former President of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Other members will be decided later.
EU agrees on Galileo satellite navigation system
The member states of the European Union have reached agreement on the further funding and administration of the Galileo satellite navigation system. They decided to finance the requisite 2.4 billion euro out of the European Union budget, with unspent agricultural subsidies accounting for some 1.6 billion euro of that amount.
The Åland Islands to also decide on the EU reform agreement
Prior to its entry into force, the EU reform agreement has to be ratified in all member states. In Finland’s case, the agreement will have to be confirmed twice. The approval both of the Finnish Parliament and the Provincial Assembly of the Åland Islands has to be obtained for the agreement.
EU Member States adopted the Reform Treaty
The EU Heads of State or Government, meeting in Lisbon in October, adopted the EU Reform Treaty. The Reform Treaty strengthens in a number of ways the Union’s principles on democracy, transparency and good governance. The Treaty simplifies and clarifies some of the Union’s complex procedures and basic characteristics.
Kosonen the EU old hand turns 60
The European Union’s Permanent Representatives Committee has seen representatives of many countries come and go, but one of the current ambassadors has sat in the chamber for longer than others. He is Eikka Kosonen, 60-year-old EU old hand. Kosonen has witnessed almost everything possible at the EU. Yet he still has enough drive for new challenges. Eikka feels that, first and foremost, he is a Finnish diplomat, even though he has lived in Brussels for eleven years.
New faces at the EU Representation
There have been numerous changes in the staff at the Permanent EU Representation of Finland. New faces include Cops ambassador Anne Sipiläinen and Chief of Administration Pekka Puustinen. Permanent representative, ambassador Eikka Kosonen continues as head of the Representation. Ambassador Nina Vaskunlahti is still responsible for Coreper-1 affairs.
New Permanent Representation website launched – now available in Swedish
The website of the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union, which is located in Brussels, has a new look. The change is part of the overhaul of the websites of the overseas representations and embassies of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The website of the EU Representation can now be consulted in Swedish. As before, Finnish, English and French versions of the site also exist.
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