Committing the Union to significant emissions cuts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 is the main aim of Finland's EU presidency, which began on 1 July. The EESC will lend its support to the presidency's climate action and continue its own work towards the creation of an EU enabling framework for citizen and community-led climate initiatives.
The other priorities of Finland's presidency are to strengthen common values and the rule of law, make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive, strengthen the EU's position as a global leader on climate action and fully protect the security of citizens.
During its term Finland will face major challenges, including overseeing the Brexit process and negotiations between Member States on the EU's next multiannual financial framework (MFF). On the basis of its policy recommendations on the MFF post-2020, and particularly the sectoral legislative proposals on spending programmes, the EESC will strive to influence negotiations positively with a view to their timely conclusion.
In line with its slogan Sustainable Europe - Sustainable Future, Finland will focus on promoting an ecological meeting culture by holding many of its meetings in Helsinki, where six informal meetings of ministers will take place, and by serving participants Finnish tap water in carafes and locally produced organic food.
The EESC will also hold several meetings in the country of the EU presidency. The EESC Bureau already met in Helsinki on 6 June, and its three Groups have planned to hold meetings in Finland in the coming months (Employers: 8-9 October, Workers: 9 October, Diversity Europe: 16-17 September). This is the third time that Finland has held the rotating presidency since joining the EU in 1995. Its previous terms were in 1999 and 2006. For more information on the EESC's activities during the Finnish presidency, please see the dedicated brochure at: https://bit.ly/2XHm6xb.(ml)