EU affairs

  1. EU affairs at the Ministry
  2. Decision-making in the Council of the European Union
  3. Preparation of EU affairs in Finland

The Ministry is responsible for national-level preparations and monitoring of transport and communications matters related to the European Union. In the Council of the European Union, Finland is represented by Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications. Ministers meet in Brussels or Luxembourg.

In addition to official meetings they usually meet twice a year unofficially in the country holding the Presidency.

1. EU affairs at the Ministry

At the Ministry of Transport and Communications EU affairs are prepared under the leadership of the minister. Responsibility for each matter is assigned to a public servant who guides and monitors its development.

When Finland's position on EU-related matters is drafted, the opinions of stake holders are always considered. The Secretariat for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister's Office and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels play an important role in the preparation process.

2. Decision-making in the Council of the European Union

Transport and communications matters in the EU are prepared in working groups with civil servant representatives of the Member States. Finland is represented in the working groups by specialists working in Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU. If a matter is of national importance and if it so requires, the meetings are attended by a specialist from the Ministry of Transport and Communications or its administrative branch.

After the working group process, matters are discussed in the first assembly of Coreper (Comité des représentants permanents, Coreper I), where Finland is represented by the deputy permanent representative.

After Coreper, matters are transferred to the Council of the European Union. Transport and communications matters are discussed in the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council. It meets around four times a year. Transport matters are dealt with in each of the four Councils, and communications matters every six months, usually in June and December Councils.

3. Preparation of EU affairs in Finland

The Prime Minister's Office is responsible for Finland's general EU policy and for coordinating the preparation and consideration of EU-related matters in the ministries. Decisions concerning the general guidelines of Finland's EU policy are made by the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs. The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Parliament is closely involved in preparing transport and communications matters relating to the EU. It is informed through a government communication of legislative proposals submitted by the European Commission. The agenda of each Council of the European Union is discussed at the Parliamentary Grand Committee.