Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Sustainable Europe – Sustainable Future

Finland took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1st July 2019. The country is taking over the helm of the EU at the time of uncertainty. As it stands now, the date of the UK departure from the EU is set for 31st October, and whatever the outcome, Finland will have to manoeuvre the transition to the EU of 27 members. The new leadership will take over in autumn and will start working to incorporate the priorities outlined in the recently adopted EU Strategy 2019-2024 into the work programmes of their respective institutions.

The priorities for Finland's Presidency 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
• to protect the security of citizens comprehensively

While there will be less legislative activity during this time, Finland is in a position to steer the debate on a number of issues of importance to the country, such as climate change, and respect for EU values and rule of law. Moreover, the country hopes to reach an agreement in the Council on the long-term climate strategy on carbon neutrality for 2050.

Finland will also be advocating towards achieving an 'economy of wellbeing', defined as a new holistic approach to managing human capital; an understanding that people's wellbeing enhances their productivity, generates economic growth and reduces public expenditure in the long term.

Finally, digitalisation, including AI, will be their horizontal priority and they will work on mainstreaming digitalization across all policy areas.

Finland is a part of the Presidency Trio with Romania (January-July 2019) and Croatia (January -June 2020). The main priorities for the Trio are to ensure a smooth transition to a new legislative cycle by finalizing outstanding files of the current Strategic Agenda and organizing work according to the priorities of the next Strategic Agenda. The Trio is also committed to finalizing the negotiation of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.

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