Government Communications Department
Translation. Originally published in Finnish on 3 December
The European Commission investment plan, streamlining of EU regulation, digital internal market and EU-US free trade negotiations dominated the discussions during Prime Minister Alexander Stubb's visit to Brussels. During his one-day visit, Stubb met European Council President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commission Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen.
Discussions with President Tusk and President Juncker focused on the Ukraine situation and the EU's Russia policy.
The topics of the other meetings centred on ways to develop the European Council and issues concerning interinstitutional relations.
As the day drew to an end, Stubb said that he was satisfied with the discussions.
- Efforts to reverse the downward trend of Finland's economy require both national and European level action. The new leaders of the European institutions are paying attention to the right things. The key priorities and their order are well in line with our own agenda. For instance, I believe that the digital internal market will move forward next spring.
As regards efforts to strengthen economic growth, a great many expectations are pinned on the proposal for an investment plan drawn up by Commission Vice-President Katainen.
- We must have ways of encouraging private investments in Europe and the Commission proposal contributes to this objective. However, this will not be sufficient. The Member States must implement structural changes to enhance competitiveness and stabilise their public finances. The EU must improve the functioning of the internal market and achieve better regulation. Free trade with the US is also important. No matter how good, individual measures will not restore competitiveness in Europe, Stubb said.
In his meeting with President Juncker, Prime Minister Stubb also drew attention to compensation due to the adverse effects of Russia's import ban on the Finnish dairy sector. The aim is to resolve the issue before Christmas.
Inquiries: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 841 7141 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 740 8968, Prime Minister's Office