(Original published in Finnish 18.12.2013)
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.
“For Finland, it is important that progress is made in European defence cooperation. We need cooperation and partners to promote of our own security. The EU must bear greater responsibility in future for both its own security and the security of neighbouring areas. In this policy area, the EU is adept at issuing statements, but slower to act. This should change. The EU’s strength is the broad range of tools it has at its disposal. We should respond to crises, crisis prevention and post-crisis consolidation in a way that combines military and civilian crisis management as well as development cooperation and trade policy. Finland expects from the summit concrete guidelines aimed at enhancing common policy. This will require capabilities cooperation and the opening of defence markets,” said Prime Minister Katainen in Helsinki.
“In the economy, EU countries must continue structural reforms, because this is only way to safeguard Europe’s international competitiveness and jobs. The European Council will discuss the arrangements by which countries are guided towards reforms. The objective is excellent, but in terms of implementation there are still many open questions that require further clarification,” said Katainen.
Inquiries: Pasi Rajala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 295 160 259 or +358 400 464 393 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 315, Prime Minister's Office