Presidency of the Council of the EU
Competitiveness, climate and security Finland’s priorities for finance ministers’ talks

Ministry of Finance 8.7.2019 8.15
Press release

Finland is set to present its Presidency work programme to EU finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday 9 July. The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) will be chaired by Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä.

“Finland’s Presidency will strive to promote the Union’s competitiveness and social cohesion, seek ambitious progress in combating climate change and comprehensively protect the citizens of Europe against internal and external threats. Economic and financial affairs play a key role also in this work,” says Minister Lintilä.

Capital Markets Union needs more work

As regards financial markets, Finland aims to take up the work to reinforce the Banking Union and develop the Capital Markets Union. The aim is to make the European banking sector more robust and resilient and to boost cross-border investment.

Finland aims to

  • launch discussions towards a new roadmap for the next phase of the Capital Markets Union
  • make progress on outstanding legislative files, including the sustainable finance package
  • reach agreement with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the proposed legislation on crowdfunding
  • contribute to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, and to countering cyber and hybrid threats in finance.

Read more in these backgrounders:

Sustainable finance: classification system for sustainability of investments
Cross-border crowdfunding: new financing opportunities for businesses
Common action to counter hybrid threats 

Fair and efficient taxation

Finland will promote a fair, simple and effective system of taxation that boosts economic growth, competitiveness and employment. It also aims to carry on the work against tax evasion and tax avoidance.

The discussions during the Presidency will focus on topics such as

  • value added tax
  • energy tax and other types of excise duty
  • efficient and fair global tax systems
  • the common corporate tax base
  • taxation of the digital economy.

Finland is aiming for a simple and effective framework for economic policy coordination in which each Member State is responsible for its own economic policies.

Stepping up climate action

Finland will highlight the importance of better integrating climate change mitigation into the work of the EU’s finance ministers. The aim is to develop a common action plan on this question.

In security-related issues, Finland’s Presidency, working closely with the Foreign Affairs Council, will focus on the European financial architecture for development. This work aims to contribute to addressing the root causes of migration in the Middle East and Africa.

Country-specific recommendations to Member States

The Council is set to adopt country-specific recommendations to the Member States. The recommendations are part of the European Semester, which provides a framework for the coordination of the member states’ economic and budgetary policies.

The Ecofin Council’s agenda also includes the state of play of the own resources system in the next multiannual financial framework. Finland’s Presidency aims to clarify the discussion on possible new own resources.

On Monday 8 July, Minister Lintilä will attend a meeting of the Eurogroup. Finland will not chair the Eurogroup, which has a permanent president.

Ecofin agenda (to be updated after the meeting)
Eurogroup agenda (to be updated after the meeting)

Inquiries:

Martti Salmi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 400 510 304, martti.salmi(at)vm.fi
Niina Nurkkala, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 347 2661
Presidency media service, tel. +358 295 530 269, press(at)vm.fi

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) is one of the configurations of the Council of the European Union. The Ecofin Council adopts EU legislation relevant to its remit, often in cooperation with the European Parliament. It is also responsible for coordinating member states’ economic policies. Ecofin is made up of the economics and finance ministers from all Member States.

The Eurogroup is an informal body tasked with coordinating economic policies among the euro area Member States and promoting conditions for stronger economic growth. The Eurogroup consists of the finance ministers of these countries. The Eurogroup has no legislative function, but it does set out policy guidelines.

Economic Prospects Financial markets Mika Lintilä Taxation