Finnish PM Katainen: Europe must agree on concrete steps to boost growth and jobs
Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen urges his fellow EU leaders to make economic growth and new jobs Europe's top priority and agree on concrete measures to pursue it. Member States are in the process of setting EU's strategic guidelines for the next years, to be concluded by the June European Council.
The Government agreed a budgetary framework and general government fiscal plan
On 24-25 March 2014, the Government agreed on the central government spending limits and the general government fiscal plan for 2015-2018. The objective of the fiscal and economic policy of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen's Government is to strengthen the financial foundation of the welfare society and conditions for growth to ensure that public finances are on a sustainable basis.
EU's climate and energy policy is largely in line with Finnish targets
On 22 January the European Commission published the EU's new climate and energy policy goals. The Commission proposes that greenhouse gas emissions be lowered by 40 percent by 2030, while the target for renewable energy be raised to 27 percent. EU's climate and energy policy is largely in line with Finnish targets, says Prime Minister Katainen.
Development of EU defence cooperation begins
The European Council meeting, which was held in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, focused on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and the Banking Union. This was the first time that the Common Security and Defence Policy featured as the summit's main theme and it included a presentation by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
December European Council to focus on Common Security and Defence Policy
The European Council will meet in Brussels on 19 December. The main theme of the summit is, for the first time, the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and defence cooperation. EU leaders will also discuss the development of the Economic and Monetary Union, migration and the enlargement of the EU.
Finland in favour of efforts to improve EU's regulatory fitness
Europe is actively discussing the fitness of EU-level legislation and regulation. Finland has been among the first countries to promote the initiative. Today, Prime Minister Katainen will discuss the issue with Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels. At the same time, senior officials from the European Commission are visiting Helsinki to hear the opinions of the Finnish Parliament, ministries and interest groups on EU regulation.
European Council to back cleantech
The European Council that convened in Brussels on 24-25 October raised, on Finland's initiative, cleantech and bio-based economy as examples of future innovation policy areas. Innovation was one of the themes discussed on Thursday as part of the debate on competitiveness in which the EU Heads of State or Government provided concrete guidelines on tools to be used to promote competitiveness and economic growth.
Ticket to Lampedusa: 2,000 dollars
Lampedusa is a small, sunny island in the Mediterranean, only 20.2 square kilometres in size and with a population of 5,500. It is the southernmost point of Italy, but geographically it is located closer to Africa. In just one week, Lampedusa became a symbol for the immigration problem affecting the whole Mediterranean region. What is it that’s actually going on? Could the tragic events in Lampedusa be a catalyst for Europe to find new solutions to its old problem?
October European Council to discuss digital economy, innovation and regulatory fitness
The European Council will meet in Brussels on 24 October. The main themes of the meeting include the Digital Single Market, services and innovation. The EU Heads of State or Government will also be briefed on the development of EMU and the Banking Union. The meeting will also discuss measures to improve the EU's regulatory fitness.
Expectant atmosphere on the EU front in Brussels
Colleagues who have been in Brussels longer than I have told me that so far the autumn has been exceptionally calm. They recall the marathon night-time meetings and tough back-and-forth discussions that were commonplace in the worst days of the Eurozone crisis. The crisis is abating, even fading.
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