Finland's Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Finlands EU-presidency and MEAE photo

Finland held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union since 1 July 2019. During its six-month presidency term, Finland chaired the Council’s meetings of ministers and those of working groups and experts. It is the duty of the Council presidency to take forward the EU’s legislative work and policy initiatives within the Council, and to ensure the continuity of the EU agenda.

Finland chaired both the Council's official meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg and the informal meetings held in Finland.

During its term, Finland held six informal ministerial meetings in the Finlandia House in Helsinki. The Ministry of  Economic Affaris and Employment was responsible for the informal ministerial meeting on competitiveness. In addition, a number of events and civil service meetings took place in Helsinki.

Agenda for the Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Competitiveness 4–5 July 2019
Press release of 4 July 2019: EU ministers discussed research and innovation as drivers for sustainable growth
Press release of 5 July 2019: EU ministers discussed single market and climate neutral economy

Preparations for Finland's Presidency

The Prime Minister's Office was responsible for the overall planning and implementation of Finland’s Presidency. 

The presidency preparations at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was coordinated by the EU and international affairs team. See contact details.

Finland’s Presidency Programme and events

The priorities for Finland’s Presidency were

  • to strengthen common values and the rule of law
  • to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive
  • to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action
  • to protect the security of citizens comprehensively 

Presidency Programme
Presidency events

During Finnish Presidency, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was responsible for leading the work of the following Council configurations:

  • The Competitiveness Council (COMPET) was chaired by Minister of Employment Timo Harakka and Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni. In the field of competitiveness and growth, the main priority of the Finnish Presidency is the sustainable growth agenda. The aim of this comprehensive, ambitious and forward-looking growth agenda is to improve the EU’s productivity and competitiveness on the global markets while ensuring an economic growth that is both environmentally and socially sustainable. The key policy areas of the agenda notably include: a well-functioning single market, transition to a climate-neutral economy, modern industrial policy, research and innovation, digital economy, skills, and trade policy as an enabler for the EU's external competitiveness. Read more about the sustainable growth agenda
  • The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) was chaired by Minister of Employment Timo Harakka and Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen. Finland’s key themes in the field of employment, social policy and health policy were: the wellbeing economy, gender equality, a non-discriminatory labour market, and investing in continuous lifelong learning in the ongoing transformation of work.
  • The Energy Council (TTE, Energy) was chaired by Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni. The key priority for Finland’s Presidency in energy policy is to implement relevant legal acts and strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action. During the current presidency, the EU member states will finalise their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) to ensure the implementation of the targets set for 2030, in collaboration with the European Commission. The matter was already addressed at the Council meeting in September, and it will be taken up again in December. Other items on the Energy Council agenda included new, innovative energy technologies that promote carbon neutrality, and the European Tyre Labelling Regulation, set to improve energy efficiency and promote environmentally friendly vehicles.

Backgrounders on the EU2019FI website

Sustainable growth agenda
Functioning single market increases the competitiveness of European industry
Digital economy
Skills and transformation of work
EU research and innovation policy
Innovative technologies that promote climate neutrality give tools for attaining climate targets
Regulation on the governance of the energy union and national energy and climate plans

EU2019.fi website