EU´s Food Safety Agency to Finland, Says Sasi

The Finnish government is actively lobbying to get the EU´s new food safety agency established in Finland in 2002, said Foreign Trade Minister Kimmo Sasi when briefing media representatives at a breakfast meeting on 19 January. Three Finnish cities, Helsinki, Kuopio and Turku, have so far expressed their interest in becoming a host to the agency.

However, Mr Sasi emphasised the importance of a collective Finnish approach and advised the proponents of various regions to concentrate in lobbying for Finland itself. The high Finnish record in food safety as well as the fact that there are no EU agencies in Finland speak in favour of our country, said Mr Sasi.

Mr Sasi also reported that the post-Seattle situation of the WTO talks would be discussed at the Davos meeting in Switzerland at the end of January and the main issues would undoubtedly feature at the Unctad meeting in Bangkok in February as well. The EU continues to advocate a wide round of talks, but the perceptions on global trade remain deeply divided, said Mr Sasi who also called for a more open and blanket decision-making process within the WTO.