Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Embassy of Finland in Singapore wants to honor the Presidency by inviting our colleagues to join us for a Meatless Monday challenge

Finland starts its Presidency of the Council of the European Union today July 1, 2019. The priorities for Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union are to strengthen common values and the rule of law, to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive, to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action and to protect the security of citizens comprehensively. Finland’s Presidency Programme was published on Wednesday 26 June. The programme can be found here.  

Sustainable Meetings

During the Presidency, Finland has decided to rethink Presidency traditions and practices in line with the principles of sustainable development. Finland is keen to show that a successful and welcoming Presidency can be achieved by ecologically sustainable means. Therefore, Finland is committed to sustainable meeting arrangements during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

As part of the sustainable meeting arrangements, Finland has decided to limit the meetings organized and centralize them to one city, Helsinki, in order to reduce the transport emissions. In addition, Finland has promised to offset the carbon emissions caused by air travel to Presidency meetings in Helsinki and Brussels. Finland promotes circular economy thinking and emphasizes the importance of decreasing waste generated during the meetings. Finland has decided not to hand out traditional Presidency gifts, but instead use the money to offset the carbon emissions caused by air travel to Presidency meetings. Paper and single-used plastic materials are replaced with digital applications and biodegradable or recyclable materials if needed. The environmental burden of food served in meetings will be assessed and more sustainable options will be favored.

Meatless Mondays

Staff members of the Embassy of Finland in Singapore having their first Meatless Monday lunch

The Embassy of Finland in Singapore wants to honor the Presidency by reassessing our daily practices in line with sustainability. We are also encouraging other Embassies to do the same. As showing the lead, the staff of the Embassy of Finland in Singapore is committed to Meatless Monday challenge at the office until the end of the year 2019. By choosing the particular challenge, we want to address the importance of individual and community actions in decreasing the environmental burden of our consumer behavior. The production of meat has a significantly higher carbon and water footprint than a non-meat based diet. We would like to invite all our colleagues in other EU Embassies to join us in this challenge. Going for lunch with coworkers and sharing recommendations with each other will motivate you through this challenge. We are hoping to hear about your commitments and follow the challenge through your social media channels. We want to stress that this challenge should be carried out in a positive atmosphere respecting everyone’s right to decide themselves whether they want to join the challenge. The Embassy of Finland in Singapore will happily receive challenges as well!