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.
"The EU is expected to take a greater responsibility for its own security. The fact that we come together to discuss new means of cooperation is in itself a significant step. We agreed that the EU defence cooperation is to be developed in good cooperation with NATO as these are not two mutually competing orientations. We will assess progress in June 2015. The European Council also agreed on concrete steps forward as regards, for example, the opening of Europe's defence industry and defence markets. This has been one of Finland's objectives. We have wanted to create new opportunities for SMEs, to open markets and to develop the security of supply system. Now, we will be able to progress in all these areas," said Prime Minister Katainen in Brussels.
"In issues concerning the Banking Union, we managed to score a number of points. With regard to the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), Finland succeeded in getting through its most important objectives to promote investor responsibility and avoid joint liability. Finland is also satisfied with the main conclusions reached on contractual agreements – the system is to be embedded in the European Semester and respect national arrangements. Now that Europe has overcome the most acute economic crises, priority must be given to Member States' structural reforms. They are the most effective means of creating sustainable economic growth and competitiveness," said Prime Minister Katainen.
Inquiries: Pasi Rajala, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, EU Affairs, tel. 295 160 311 or +358 400 464 393 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Prime Minister's Office.