On Tuesday, 30 June, Prime Minister Sanna Marin had a telephone conversation with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel about the extraordinary meeting of the European Council to be held on 17–18 July in Brussels. EU leaders will try to reach an agreement on the Union’s next financial framework and new recovery instrument.
According to a press release by the Government Communications Department, in her conversation with Federal Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Marin shared Finland’s main views on the recovery instrument proposed by the European Commission to overcome the economic crisis provoked by Covid-19.
This instrument, which consist in 750 billion euros, of which 500 billion are non-repayable grants, has been opposed by Finland and other member states such as the so-called 'frugal four': Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.
The commission presented its proposal at the end of May, and the members of the European Council exchanged views on the proposal in a video meeting on 19 June. “We cannot accept the Commission's proposal as it stands, and changes are needed in many respects," Prime Minister Marin told EU leaders on that occasion.
The whole recovery package under negotiation would consist of a revised multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027, along with the new recovery instrument.
When it comes to the new multiannual financial framework, the key issues for Finland are its moderate overall level, funding for rural development (Pillar II) and support for climate action, and the conditionality of EU funding, particularly with regard to the rule of law.
European Council President Charles Michel is leading the negotiations on the financial framework. "He will prepare a modified proposal on the framework and the recovery instrument before the extraordinary meeting of the European Council in July," Finnish government stressed in its release.
Marin and Merkel also discussed the priorities of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will begin on 1 July.