Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins on 1 July and ends on 31 December 2019. Finland chairs the formal Council meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg and the informal meetings of ministers held in Finland.

Finland will host six informal meetings of ministers in Helsinki, all of them in Finlandia Hall. The Informal Meeting of Environment and Climate Ministers took place on 11–12 July. Finland will also host several meetings of working groups and experts.

The Presidency is responsible for taking forward the Council's EU legislation work and policy initiatives and for ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda. In addition, the Presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the Commission and the European Parliament.

Finland’s Programme for its Presidency of the Council of the EU

Finland’s Presidency Programme was published on Wednesday 26 June. The priorities for Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union 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 and to protect the security of citizens comprehensively.

Environment Council has agreed on the EU negotiating mandate for the UN climate meeting COP25 and conclusions on the circular economy

On Friday the 4th of October the EU Environment Council adopted conclusions on climate change, which set out the EU's position for the UN climate change meetings (COP25) in Santiago de Chile in December 2019. The Council also adpoted conclusions on the circular economy and on the 8th Environment Action Programme. The meeting was chaired by Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen.

A sustainable Presidency

Finland adheres to the principles of sustainability in the arrangements for its Presidency. In doing so, Finland encourages Europe to be a leader in climate action and challenges its EU colleagues to get involved: we can organise an effective and welcoming Presidency in a way that is also ecologically sustainable.

Finland wants to keep the number of meetings down, and has decided to centralise the meetings in Helsinki. The Presidency venue, Finlandia Hall, is very easy to reach by public transport. Very little physical material will be produced just for the Presidency. Instead, the idea is to make use of digital applications and solutions based on the circular economy.

Finland will not be giving out traditional presidency gifts. Instead, the money earmarked for the gifts will be used to offset greenhouse gas emissions from flights to Presidency meetings. The emission-reducing projects will be announced in June.

Main events of the Ministry of the Environment in Helsinki

11–12 July 2019: Informal Meeting of Ministers of the Environment

The Informal Meeting of Environment/Climate Ministers explored three themes: circular economy, biodiversity and climate change. Europe's future wellbeing and prosperity depend on our ability to find solutions to the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity. A circular economy can provide us with tools to solve the sustainability crisis.

On Thursday 11 July, the first working session was dedicated to the EU's internal discussion on its climate ambition and messages. During the second working session, all delegations discussed the increasing global ambition in climate change. They also examined views on international objectives to halt the loss of biodiversity after 2020.

Friday 12 July was dedicated to the circular economy. The first working session focused on the potential of circular economy solutions to tackle the most wicked problems: climate change and biodiversity loss. The meeting ended with a discussion on the next steps for a possible EU circular economy 2.0.

30 September 2019: European Days for Sustainable Circular Economy

The conference will explore the theme of circular economy based on the latest scientific research. The conference aims to identify policy options and priorities by reviewing and assessing developments in circular economy and by exchanging information and perspectives gained through work in the field of circular economy. The goal is to provide effective networking opportunities and support for circular economy stakeholders.

Building the Presidency together

The Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs makes decisions on Finland's EU policy approaches during the Presidency period. The Prime Minister's Office is responsible for the overall planning and implementation of Finland’s EU Council Presidency. The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for drawing up substantive issues within its mandate and for lending support to the work of its ministers.

Published 2019-06-27 at 9:41, updated 2019-10-14 at 17:41