The European Council convened in Brussels on 18 December. The main theme of the meeting was the Commission's investment plan with the aim of creating economic growth and attracting private investments.
The European Council outlined the setting up of a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The aim is to activate new investments as early as mid-2015.
"The investment plan is an important initiative towards a more effective use of EU funds in support of economic growth. It is essential to attract private investments in Europe as, in the current economic situation, it is not possible to use traditional ways of stimulating the economy. The investment projects must be selected on the basis of their economic profitability and effective use of funding, not on the basis of regional policy objectives," says Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.
Finland considers it important that the system is transparent and with a light structure to avoid unwieldy administrative burden on the Finnish SMEs. In addition to investments, the Member States must implement structural changes and stabilise their public economies.
The European Council agreed on measures to give new momentum to the Digital Single Market. Finland emphasises that, as a rule, all new EU legislation should be applicable to digital operating environments. Investments should be targeted at top growth sectors: bioeconomy, cleantech and digitalisation.
In addition to economic and investment issues, the EU leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine. The European Council expressed its strong concern about the situation and remains ready to take further steps if necessary.
Inquiries: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 841 7141, Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 315, Prime Minister’s Office
European Council conclusions