Support for Finnish submarine cable project from EU-US Trade and Technology Council

Press release 23.12.2022 11.08 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communincations Timo Harakka (Photo: Kuva: Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää, Keksi/Ministry of Transport and Communications)

The Finnish majority state-owned company Cinia is part of an international consortium engaged in planning an Arctic submarine cable that would connect the telecommunication networks of Europe, North America and the Far East. Together with its international partners, Cinia has established a development company to promote this Far North Fiber project that would be the first cable system to pass through the Arctic region, which connects several continents. The new submarine cable system is projected to be ready for use at the end of 2026.

The EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) met on 5 December 2022, issuing a joint declaration that stresses support for submarine telecommunication cable projects and their strategic importance.

“I warmly welcome the TTC declaration as an excellent development for the Cinia project and for Finland. Telecommunication links will become increasingly important in economic and political terms as digitisation progresses,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

“Transatlantic cooperation is important to Finland and the EU from the perspective of both trade and geopolitics. This project involving Cinia is connecting Europe, North America and the democracies of the Far East in an exemplary manner at this time of global political instability,” Minister Harakka continues.

The joint declaration of the Trade and Technology Council indicates that the TTC is seeking to strengthen the resilience of critical telecommunications infrastructure, and that it views submarine telecommunication cables as strategically important. Discussions between the EU and the US on new secure digital infrastructure projects will continue within the TTC framework. Such projects also include data cable links to connect Europe, North America and the Far East. The EU will host the next meeting of the TTC in mid-2023.

On 8 December 2022 the Council of the EU approved a recommendation seeking concrete measures to enhance the ability of the EU to protect its critical infrastructure. The EU Council recommendations also stress the importance of submarine telecommunication cable links to global and intra-EU connections. The recommendations also highlight the significance of the Network and Information Security Directive (NIS2) for EU cyber security and the interference tolerance of digital infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for implementing the Directive nationally.

Enquiries:

Antti Malste, Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 400 1628, antti.malste@gov.fi