Preparation of EU affairs
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
The Council decides on EU cooperation in matters regarding employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs. Finland is represented on the Council by the Minister of Labour, Minister of Social Affairs and Health and the Minister of Health and Social Services.
On average, the ministers convene ten times a year. Six of these meetings are unofficial and the remaining 3-4 meetings are official. Official meetings are held in either Brussels or Luxemburg, whereas unofficial meetings are held in the country currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Sub-committees of the Committee for EU affairs
The Committee for EU affairs has appointed 35 sector-specific preparative sub-committees. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for chairing six sub-committees:
- EU16 insurance services
- EU25 social affairs
- EU26 occupational health and safety
- EU27 social security issues related to the mobility of people
- EU33 health
- EU39 narcotics.
The Prime Minister's Office is responsible for the general policy outlines of Finland's EU policy and coordinates the preparation of EU affairs and their discussion by the Government. Decisions on Finland's EU policy outlines are made by the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister. At civil servant level, the coordination of EU affairs is carried out under the Committee for EU affairs and its sector-specific preparative sub-committees.
The Parliament of Finland participates actively in the preparation of EU's home affairs. Most significant initiatives proposed by the EU Commission are communicated to Parliament through a Government communication. Before the Council of the European Union convenes, the ministers present the meeting's agenda to the Finnish Parliament's Grand Committee.