Finland’s priorities for its Presidency of the EU – a promising programme

Today, Finland starts its six months Presidency of the Council of the EU. When presenting Finland’s programme, Prime Minister Antti Rinne said ‘People and their needs should be at the core of EU cooperation. The EU works best when we increase people’s wellbeing and security and reduce inequality.’ Social Platform welcomes this principle of putting people at the center of all EU policies.

Elaborating on the slogan ‘Sustainable Europe – sustainable future’, Prime Minister Rinne, referred to the EU’s shared values: ‘Human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law are all values that EU countries commit to as part of membership.’

He also stressed: ‘The future of the EU should be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable’. He mentioned the need to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both within and beyond the EU, contrary to the Council’s agenda for the next five years that only refers to the 2030 Agenda in the context of EU external relations.

Social Platform started a good cooperation with the Finnish Presidency of the EU. We organise our Flagship Conference “Building social Europe” (Helsinki, 16-18 September) together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland. It is an official side event of the Finnish Presidency, taking place back to back with the Finnish EU High Level Presidency’s Conference on the Economy of Wellbeing.

Kélig Puyet, Director of Social Platform, said: “We welcome the direction of the Finnish Presidency to put people’s wellbeing at the centre of EU policies. We hope that for sustainability to become the common denominator for all EU actions, the Presidency will strengthen civil dialogue as a pre-requisite to achieve this goal.”