Finland takes over EU presidency

Published 02.07.2019 00:10

Finland took over the rotating six-month EU presidency from Romania on July 1 for the third time and a rough agenda including Brexit is awaiting the country.

During the Nordic country's leadership of the bloc, promoting the European Union's "global leadership in climate action" is to be a central issue.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne said in a speech to the Finnish parliament last week that this also means committing to climate neutrality by 2050. It has also adopted motto "Sustainable Europe-Sustainable Future."

Finland seeks to defend common EU values such as "the rule of law, human rights, equality and democracy," according to Rinne.

Among the challenges the EU faces in the six months ahead is Britain's delayed departure from the EU which is now scheduled to take place by Oct. 31.

The rotation presidency involves setting the bloc's agenda and acting as a diplomatic go-between among the 28 members.

The position requires impartial and professional handling of all the items under the current European agenda during the six-month mandate. The most important topics include: Defining the budget, functioning of the internal market, EU's internal security agenda, the fight against terrorism, managing migration challenges and reinforcing the EU on a global level.

After Finland holds the position for sixth months, it will be succeeded by Croatia at the beginning of 2020.

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