Prime Minister Stubb to European Council's special meeting

On Saturday 30 August, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb attended a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels. The meeting discussed EU appointments and key international issues.

The members of the European Council decided on the election of the President of the European Council and the appointment of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European Council will elect its President for a term of two and a half years beginning on 1 December 2014.



Government agreed on budget proposal for 2015

The Government has agreed on the 2015 budget proposal. The proposal is mainly based on decisions made in the General Government Fiscal Plan last spring and in the Government Programme in June. In the budget negotiations, the Government also agreed on a supplementary budget for 2014 and decided on strengthening the implementation of the Structural Policy Programme.



Government budget session began at House of the Estates - report on Russia sanctions published

On Wednesday 27 August, the Government heard expert assessments on Finland's economic situation and on the economic effects of the EU's Russia sanctions and counter sanctions issued by Russia. Government party leaders will continue the budget negotiations in the afternoon.

The working group assessing the effects of the Russia sanctions estimates that the direct effects on the overall economic activity will be modest for both Russia and its trading partners. Economic growth in Russia has slowed since 2013 for reasons independent of the sanctions which has affected economic growth in Finland, too.



The Finnish Government introduced a bill for amendment of the Consular Services Act

On 28 August 2014, the Finnish Government introduced a bill for amendment of the Consular Services Act, and for certain related laws. The objective of the bill is to facilitate organisation of consular services through the Finnish network of foreign missions abroad in a more flexible manner, according to need and demand.

"The bill the Government now introduced to Parliament facilitates significant development of the consular services provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The bill is the most important reform developing the arrangement of operations within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs administrative sector during this government term.", says Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.