EU affairs in the Foreign Service
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for the coordination of and definition of Finland's positions in matters concerning the EU's external relations, enlargement and financing of the European External Action Service as well as the EU law and the EU Court of Justice.
The Foreign Ministry is responsible for the preparation, monitoring and definition of Finland's positions in the following subject areas:
- The EU's external relations: Common Foreign and Security Policy, trade policy and development policy.
- EU law and the EU's external relations
- EU Court of Justice and the European Commission's action against Member States suspected of breaches of Union law
- EU enlargement
- Financing of the European External Action Service
- General development of the EU in cooperation with the Government EU Affairs Department
Finland's priorities in EU issues from the point of view of the Foreign Service:
- Better capacity to respond to external challenges. Finland promotes the overall development of the Union's capacity to respond to crises. Finland actively supports the development of the EU's Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP), which strengthens the EU's role as a credible and effective global actor.
- EU policy in relation to the neighbouring area. Finland promotes the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) to support reforms and to increase stability in the eastern and southern neighbourhood.
- Promotion of free trade negotiations. Finland continues to exert active influence in the EU and also bilaterally with the USA to contribute to the progress of the negotiations on the extensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA. Finland also supports progress in the EU's Free Trade Agreement with Japan and the completion of the negotiations by the end of 2015. Finland participates in exercise of influence to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement between the EU and Canada.
- Promoting sustainable development The negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda will remain a global development policy issue. Finland calls for a strong input from the EU to its preparation and considers it very important that the developing countries' needs are attended to in the preparation process. The UN Climate Change Conference in December 2015 should come up with a new, global climate agreement that includes obligations to all countries. Finland negotiates about the climate agreement as a member state of the EU.