Contents Objectives and Priorities of the Finnish Presidency History, facts, figures and people behind

The Finnish Presidency of the European Union was a rewarding and demanding experience. It also served as a demonstration of seamless cooperation between the preparatory work of officials and decision-making by politicians. The results achieved fairly well matched the ambitious goals that Finland had set in the programme for the Presidency. The positive picture was further enhanced by the successful organisation of two demanding summits and dozens of major meetings held all over the country.

The Helsinki Summit saw a clear framework laid down for enlargement of the Union, revision of the Treaties and development of the Union's capacity for crisis management. The European Council in Tampere established political guidelines on immigration and asylum policy, action to combat cross-border crime and the improvement of legal security for citizens throughout the EU.

Apart from these political achievements, the progress made with the everyday legislative work carried out in Brussels was also an important aspect of Finland's Presidency. Mundane matters such as the directive on end-of-life cars or the rules on electronic commerce affect the everyday lives of ordinary citizens in significant ways.

Finland sought to emphasise openness and a businesslike approach at all levels during the Presidency, which will leave its mark in the work of the EU in this sense, too.

Paavo Lipponen
Paavo Lipponen

Prime Minister of Finland

barh.gif (457 bytes)