FINLAND – Rule of law

The Finnish government had not by Wednesday evening (30 September) commented on the Commission’s Report. However, it would be safe to predict that the country would welcome the report.

The rule of law has traditionally been high on Finland’s agenda, including during its EU presidency in the second half of 2019, when the county wanted to link the rule of law as a prerequisite for the approval of the EU Recovery Package.

Against this background, some politicians immediately turned their attention beyond the Commission’s report to the negotiations between EU ministers in the Council and the European Parliament. On the table will be the rule of law and the disbursement of EU funds.

The compromise negotiated by the German EU Presidency has already been criticised as a watered down version of the Commission proposal presented two years ago. Direct references to conditioning have been ditched as well as the need for unanimous decisions.

According to EU Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP), Finland cannot accept the German proposal since the instrument should effectively tackle deficiencies of the rule of law in practice. The current proposal is too similar to the views held by Hungary and Poland, Tuppurainen added.

Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa (EPP) sees the German proposal as being completely different from the views of the Parliament.

Sharing the Finnish stance are also Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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