Finland to sound out attitudes of EU countries on budget issues

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-16 06:06:19|Editor: yan
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HELSINKI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Guenther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Reseources, said in Helsinki on Monday he sees "no fundamental differences between the aims of the Finnish presidency and the Commission's proposal for an EU budget".

Oettinger visited Finland on Monday and had talks with Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen.

Tuppurainen said in the joint press conference with Oettinger that Finland will be sending a questionnaire to EU members about the overall level of the budget, the balance between sectors and about the suggested "conditionalization" involving the climate change combat and application of EU values.

Finland as the current president of the Council of the European Union is to propose a budget draft that the other countries would take a stand on. Oettinger underlined that the frames of the budget must be decided before the end of this year.

Oaettinger said in the press conference that one fourth of the budget should be used for measures to combat climate change and a part of the budget is to have application of the rule-of-law principle as a condition.

Tuppurainen said she considers the 25 percent share of climate combat-oriented spending as realistic. "We can build a fund for adaptation for the countries that are very dependent on coal and would suffer from the transition into a carbon neutral society," she was quoted by news agency Svensk Presstjanst, SPT.

Meanwhile, Tuppurainen saw the issue of rule-by-law as one of the most difficult issues in the budget talks.

She said that "net payers" such as Finland consider that it is essential that conditions will be set related to the development of rule-by-law.

Tuppurainen told reporters that she believes an entity could be reached where some countries get extensive contributions towards becoming carbon neutral and where net payers then get "rule of law conditions" included.