Press Advisories

30. 9. 2019 13:37

Prime Minister Babiš talks to the Prime Minister of Finland Antti Rinne about current European issues

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne at the Hrzánský Palace, 30 September 2019.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne at the Hrzánský Palace, 30 September 2019.
The Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne on Monday 30 September 2019. The topics they discussed at Hrzánský Palace included the current status and next steps in preparing the multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027, climate protection, migration and Brexit.

Finland has held the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year, and the prime ministers talked about their plans up to the end of the year. They also discussed the forthcoming European Council meeting. “We’re very pleased that the prime minister visited us. We had an opportunity to discuss current European issues. At the European Council we’ll mainly be concerned with Brexit, but there’ll also be an important debate about the multiannual financial framework,” the Czech Prime Minister said at a press conference.

The prime ministers discussed the multiannual financial framework for 2021–2027. Negotiations are now in a crucial phase, and they are one of the challenges facing the Finnish presidency. “We’ve had lots of talks on this matter. The European Union’s future budget must be balanced, and it should reflect the interests of the individual member states. For us it’s above all about investments. We’re continuing our preparations for a National Investment Plan,” Prime Minister Babiš added.

Another topic the prime ministers talked about was climate protection, especially in relation to EU trade policy. “I told the prime minister that the Czech Republic is meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement, and it would be good to know how far all of the EU member states are meeting them. We’re fighting to reduce emissions, but we also have to think about the economy. Also important is how Europe can influence third countries that have not reduced their emissions. We agreed that nuclear energy has the most promising outlook in this country and in Finland,” the prime minister remarked.

They also discussed Brexit. “As the prime minister of the country holding the presidency, Mr Rinne has been having intensive negotiations. I think a technical solution to the backstop can be found, which would fix those aspects currently covered by the backstop. We hope we can resolve this without another extension, but it’s hard to predict what will happen in the United Kingdom,” the prime minister said after the meeting.

The discussions also covered the rule of law. The prime minister said that this matter should be the subject of a general debate from a European perspective. They also covered the completion of the internal market. “We’ve long pointed out that there’s massive potential here, as much as 1.7 % of GDP, which is as much as 230 billion euro. We’re constantly criticising the obstacles facing Czech companies, businessmen and citizens who work in other member states,” Andrej Babiš said.

Finland took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2019. Its priorities for the presidency were based on the eighteen-month working programme for the trio presidency of the Council of the European Union, which from January 2019 to June 2020 comprises Romania, Finland and Croatia, as well as on the programme for the Finnish presidency. Finland will be the first presidency to include in the work of the Council the new priorities under the strategic agenda for 2019–2024.

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