The EU to send 200 observers to Georgia
The European Union has decided to implement its civilian crisis mission and to deploy about 200 observers in Georgia. The Foreign Ministers of the Member States confirmed launching of the mission at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council held in Brussels on Monday, 15 September. Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen represented Finland at the meeting.
The European Council discussed the Treaty of Lisbon and the rising prices of food and oil
The European Council, which convened in Brussels on 19 and 20 June, considered the situation after the outcome of the referendum in Ireland. In the referendum held on 12 June, Irish people rejected the Treaty of Lisbon which reforms the European Union’s structures. The EU leaders agreed that more time was needed to analyse the situation and that the European Council will come back to this issue at its meeting of 15 October 2008. The ratification process continues in other countries.
2008 Millennium Technology Prize awarded to professor Robert Langer for intelligent drug delivery
The 2008 Millennium Technology Prize was presented to Professor Robert Langer today in Helsinki for developing innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release. The world’s largest technology prize is awarded by Technology Academy Finland for a technological innovation that significantly improves quality of human life and promotes sustainable development.
Finland recognised the Republic of Kosovo
Upon presentation by the Government, the President of the Republic of Finland has decided today, 7 March, to recognise the Republic of Kosovo as an independent and sovereign State, and has decided on Finland’s readiness to enter into diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kosovo. Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva has today informed Fatmir Sejdiu, President of Kosovo, and Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Kosovo, of the decision in writing.
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.
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