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EU Competitiveness Council to discuss EU industrial strategy and regulation of online platforms, European Research Area and space

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 26.5.2021 9.08
Press release

The EU Competitiveness Council will meet in Brussels on 27 and 28 May 2021. The ministers responsible for the internal market and industrial policy will discuss the EU’s updated industrial strategy and the regulation of digital market and services. The ministers in charge of research and innovation will exchange views on renewing the European Research Area (ERA). The management of space traffic is also on the agenda.

State Secretary Jukka Ihanus will represent Finland at the meeting.

Finland supports common EU rules for digital platforms

The ministers will discuss proposals to regulate the digital market and services. The proposal on digital services aims to set EU-wide rules for different online services, ranging from small service providers to large global digital platforms. Providers would be subject to obligations proportionate to their services and their size, with the aim of a safe, predictable and accountable digital environment. 

The regulation on digital market would address unfair practices that companies and consumers encounter on digital platforms. It is important to Finland that the new regulations are clear, flexible and mindful of the different characteristics of platform companies and markets.  

“Some digital and social media companies have grown so large that their activities have harmful effects on society as a whole. New regulation at EU level must address the problems faced by businesses and consumers. In particular, access to data is a critical factor in competition. The data collected must serve the people, businesses and society,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.

EU’s industrial strategy to make use of the lessons of the pandemic

The meeting will discuss the EU’s updated industrial strategy and securing access to critical raw materials. The strategy makes use of the lessons learned during the pandemic, with the aim of supporting the resilience of companies in crises. In addition, the industrial strategy offers new measures to speed up the green and digital transitions. 

“It is important that Europe pays attention to the availability of raw materials. Ensuring access to natural resources is a condition for implementing Europe’s ambitious growth and industrial strategy,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Finland supports the Commission’s comprehensive approach to the industrial strategy, which emphasises the role of the internal market and small and medium-sized companies in promoting competitiveness. 

The meeting will also adopt two conclusions: 1) the Member States’ shared vision of sustainable tourism in Europe, and 2) the use of data technology in better regulation. According to Finland, there is potential for growth in the development of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable tourism. The use of data technology in better regulation is one of the key factors in sustainable development and competitiveness, and it must take into account the opportunities offered by technologies and digitalisation. 

The Commission will also present a proposal to address the distortive effects that subsidies from non-EU countries have on competition in the internal market and a proposal on harmonised rules on artificial intelligence.

Finland supports sustainable growth and jobs offered by ERA

The ministers responsible for research, innovation and space will meet on Friday 28 May. The meeting will adopt a general approach on the establishment of a European High Performance Computing (EuroHPC) Joint Undertaking as well as the conclusions on the ERA. Finland considers the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking a significant contribution to the development of European high-performance computing and related expertise.

The ERA’s objective is to support researchers, information and technology and their free movement. According to Finland, the ERA must be developed in such a way that it strengthens sustainable growth, employment and social development. The meeting will also hold a policy debate on reforming the ERA. 

Two conclusions will be adopted concerning space. They relate to the importance of the space sector for people in general and particularly for the inhabitants of Europe’s coastal regions. The use of space data and services can be promoted by developing the EU’s space programme in accordance with the users’ needs. The Member States will also hold a discussion on improving the EU’s role in the management of space transport.

Nina Alatalo, Adviser to Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and International Affairs), tel. +358 295 047 171
Leila Vilhunen, Adviser to Minister of Employment (EU and International Affairs), tel. +358 295 047 120
Mia Hurtta, Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 086
Taru Löyttymäki, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 177

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