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国际英语新闻:Roundup: Finland urges enhanced value dialogue among EU members

Source: Xinhuanet    2019-07-02  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

HELSINKI, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Finnish Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen on Monday underlined the importance of developing the dialogue on value issues between EU member countries.

Such dialogue is the one of the ways to promote the rule of law in member countries, she said on national television, Yle. The other tools are the sanctions the EU can levy on its member countries and the incorporation of the application of the EU values into the budgeting process.

Commentators have noted that planning of the EU's seven-year fiscal plan (2021-2027) is a crucial process during the Finnish presidency that began on Monday.

Besides the traditional issues of how money is being allocated for various sectors, the EU budget is now increasingly seen also a tool for enforcement of EU goals and values. In the budget process, the EU goals on the climate change and its value policies converge and may collide, commentators have said.

Finland is suggesting a system where the size of the EU funding given to a country depends on the application of the so-called rule of law principle in the recipient country.

The plan concerns especially the cohesion funding that is given to countries whose economic development is at lower level than the EU average. "There are now ways to measure concretely the way the rule of law has been applied", Tuppurainen said on national television.

Tuppurainen noted that Finland earlier took up the idea of more dialogue on value questions in the EU, and now Finland suggested an annual system of dialogue. "The rule of law issues will become an everyday matter", she said.

All member countries have accepted the view that the principle of rule of law will be applied in the European Union, and that "must be visible", Tuppurainen said.

CLIMATE GOALS

Analysts have said, however, that if the cohesion funding and the rule of law principle are tied together in the next seven-year budget, the talks about the climate change may become essentially difficult. In the end, it could boil down to a polarization between choosing the climate success or the protection of the rule of law.

Several countries in the eastern part of the EU have so far been opposed to the passing of the joint climate policy of aiming at carbon neutrality in 2050. Their attitudes could possibly change if the economic impact of climate policies would be compensated.

But problems regarding the rule of law, as understood by the majority of the EU, occur in partially the same group of member countries. In such a situation a cutback of EU funding on value grounds would be difficult to combine with the need to compensate economic losses, caused by the cessation of coal mining, for example.

The fiscal plan for 2021-2027 is being developed on the basis of the draft from the European Commission defining the budget as 1.1 percent of the combined GDP of the EU countries.

The previous Finnish government held the opinion that the budget plan was too big, but was prepared to negotiate a minor increase particularly for additional financing of defense and security.

The new Finnish government does not present Finnish national aims as the country of the presidency must be a neutral mediator. Tuppurainen noted that the government program only says that the EU budget must be appropriate.


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