EU Affairs Committee in Helsinki to discuss new EU action plan, climate

ELAK chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre) at COSAC in Helsinki.
ELAK chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre) at COSAC in Helsinki. Source: Eduskunta

Members of the European Union Affairs Committee (ELAK) of the Riigikogu are participating in the plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) in Helsinki on Monday.

ELAK chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre) said that the newly appointed European Commission has set a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 as one of its clear political goals, according to a Riigikogu press release.

"The European Parliament has declared a climate emergency, and it's certainly not possible to avoid climate issues," Ott said. "But as [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen pointed out in her speech, the transition toward climate neutrality has to be just and inclusive — or it will not happen at all."

Committee deputy chairwoman Riina Sikkut (SDE) emphasized that the new Commission has also adopted strengthening Europe's global position and innovation in digital technology as its targets.

"Europe must own key technologies itself and not import them," Sikkut said. "If we do not control data and technologies and the ways they are used, then it won't be possible to achieve top-level technological innovation ambitions."

Monday's COSAC agenda includes the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU, promotion of the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU, and discussion on the main objectives of the new European Commission. The last panel will open with a speech by Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic. Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne will also provide an overview of the achievements of the Finnish EU presidency.

The COSAC plenary assembly on Tuesday will focus on the European climate strategy. The debate will be opened with presentations from climate specialists, after which member states' delegations will discuss how climate and energy policy could launch a new era in the European economy. EU Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier will also deliver a speech.

Other participants in the plenary meeting of COSAC in Helsinki on Monday and Tuesday are Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa) and Oudekki Loone (Centre).


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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