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State Secretary for EU Affairs
HS Foreign 6.3.2003 - Finland and Sweden critical towards delaying draft for EU constitution
Both countries are afraid that if the work of the convention is delayed, national Parliaments and EU citizens will not have enough time to comment on the draft before the EU Inter-Governmental Conference gets underway in 2004. Finland does not accept the idea that the convention would receive three more months before its deadline, with the IGC then lasting three months.The convention will most likely not have enough time to solve important questions on the future division of power within the EU, and Aalto believes these issues can well be discussed by the IGC.
HS Foreign 2.5.2002 - Financial Times wonders at Finland's EU Presidency swap
The switch has been explained by the German federal elections in fall 2006, and the Finnish Parliamentary elections in spring 2007.If the government were to change after the elections in 2007, it would have meant that the Ministers chairing EU meetings would have changed in the middle of the Presidency term. The Financial Times writes that by postponing its turn, Germany will be freed from the constraints of the Presidency while the EU discusses its budget for 2007-2013. Germany is seeking substantial reforms to the union's finances as it is currently a large net contributor.The current EU budget was agreed upon during the last German Presidency in 1999, with opposition from France and Spain undermining Germany's attempts at reform. Links:
Svenska Atlantkommittén / Swedish Atlantic Council
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