Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Picture: Laura Kotila/The Finnish government
Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Picture: Laura Kotila/The Finnish government

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) talked on the phone with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday about the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on July 17–18, in which the European Union leaders will try to reach an agreement on the union’s next long-term budget for 2021–2027.

The financial framework for the budget includes a proposed recovery instrument, which is a temporary reinforcement of €750 billion to provide urgent support to companies of the EU member states put at risk by the coronavirus pandemic. Marin and Merkel also discussed the priorities of the German presidency of the Council of the EU, which began on Wednesday when Croatia handed over the rotating presidency.

In their conversation, Marin shared Finland’s views on the EU’s budget.

“When it comes to the new financial framework,” according to a government press release, “the key topics 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.”

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Finland in March, 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Finland in March, 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

The recovery package under negotiation would consist of a revised multiannual financial framework along with the new recovery instrument.

The financing for the instrument will be borrowed by the European Commission on the behalf of the EU, a sum up to €750 billion. An EU fact sheet described the support to its member states as “forceful without putting additional pressure on their national budgets at the time when they are most strained.”

The commission presented its proposal for a recovery package at the end of May, and the members of the European Council exchanged views on the proposal in a video meeting on June 19.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, 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 when the EU leaders have planned to meet face-to-face.

Editorial Team