Conference of Presidents meets in Helsinki

This week in Helsinki, ECR vice-chair Roberts Zile represented the Group during Parliament’s Conference of Presidents’ meeting with the Finnish Prime Minister as part of their six month Presidency of the European Council.

During an exchange of views with the

Finnish Government, Zile welcomed their commitment to promoting cybersecurity and its desire to finalise the guarantee fund of the financial sector. He also emphasized the need to effectively co-finance the completion of infrastructure projects under way in the EU.

Zile said:

“With the new EU seven-year budget, including the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility Instrument (CEF), it is crucial to ensure cash flow for projects that are already underway, such as Rail Baltica, which is important for the whole Baltic region.

“Finland’s priorities are clear, though as always the devil lies in the details. The priority move towards a socially responsible Europe will not solve this problem if it confines itself to fighting the so-called social dumping, thereby blocking competition from peripheral, less developed countries, in the markets of large EU countries.

“At the same time, we must congratulate and applaud the desire to finally put in place the Deposit Guarantee Fund, which is the last unfinished leg of the Banking Union. And also security and defence cooperation, where Finland, as a non-NATO member, nevertheless understands the substance and priorities of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, without prejudice to transatlantic cooperation. “

Zile then moved the discussions on to the next seven-year funding cycle, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which is due to enter into force in 2021. He concluded:

“Finally, in the EU’s multi-annual budgeting priorities, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group are sceptical about increasing own resources in the revenue side of the budget, and regulating the rule of law in EU Member States through fund access levers that will only serve divide the EU and national governments and their peoples even further.”

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