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Finland invites EU competitiveness ministers to discuss sustainable growth

EU2019FIGovernment Communications DepartmentMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 19.6.2019 11.21
Press release

EU ministers responsible for competitiveness will meet in Helsinki on 4–5 July 2019. They will discuss how the EU can create sustainable growth, competitiveness, wellbeing and prosperity in the future. It is the first informal meeting of ministers during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The theme of the meeting is sustainable growth, because the EU is facing the challenges of digital transformation, rapid technological advances, international competition and climate change. The EU must consider new ways of achieving economically, socially and ecologically sustainable growth.

In addition to the EU ministers, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska and leading experts from the research and business community will also be present at the meeting. The aim is to give policy-makers the chance to hear about the latest research evidence and experiences from businesses.

Research and innovation as drivers of growth

EU ministers responsible for research will meet in Helsinki on Thursday 4 July. They will have two working sessions: the first on research and innovation as drivers for sustainable growth and the second on the EU’s Horizon Europe framework programme for research and innovation as a strategic tool. During lunch, the ministers will discuss how European excellence can be translated into entrepreneurial success.

The ministers will first hear from the keynote speakers Professor Sylvia Schwaag Serger from Lund University, CEO of Vaisala Group Kjell Forsén, CSO and co-founder of ICEYE Pekka Laurila and Professor Mariana Mazzucato from Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London.

Single market, digital economy and industrial policy are interlinked

EU ministers responsible for the single market, industry and competitiveness will meet on Friday 5 July. They will have two working sessions: the first on the integration of single market, digital economy and industrial policy and the second on competitive and climate neutral Europe.

The ministers will first hear from business leaders from different sectors. The keynote speakers are President and CEO of Kone Corporation Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chief Commercial Officer of Bombardier Transportation Per Allmer, CEO and co-founder of Sulapac Ltd. Suvi Haimi, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG Michael Sen and President and CEO of Fortum Corporation Pekka Lundmark.

A live webcast of parts of the meeting will be available on the Presidency website at

Finland’s third Presidency starts on 1 July

Finland will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2019. Finland chairs the formal Council meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg and the informal meetings of ministers held in Finland. Six informal meetings of ministers and a number of meetings of working groups and experts will be held in Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. The holder of the presidency can choose to highlight certain themes by focusing discussion on them at the informal meetings.

The presidency takes forward the Council's work on EU legislation and policy initiatives and ensures the continuity of the EU agenda. In addition, the presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Media representatives covering the informal meetings of ministers held in Helsinki must complete their accreditation via the online accreditation system at the latest two weeks before the meeting starts. Accreditation for the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness will close at 16.00 Finnish time (EET) on Thursday 20 June.


Janne Känkänen, Director for EU and International Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4200, Twitter @janne_kankanen
Anniina Lehtonen, Communications Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 476 3736, Twitter @AnniinaLeh

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