The Finnish Presidency in the Council of the EU

The Finnish Presidency in the Council of the EU

Posted on June 28, 2019

On the 1st July 2019, Finland takes over the rotatory presidency of the Council of the EU and holds it for 6 months, until the end of December.

Finland’s Presidency Programme was published on Wednesday 26 June. Their priorities are: 1) To strengthen common values and the rule of law, 2) to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive, 3) to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action, and 4) to protect the security of citizens comprehensively. In addition to that, Finland has worked in close cooperation with Romania and Croatia (the countries holding the Council of the EU Presidency before and after Finland). Together, these three countries have developed a Trio Programme focused on five key themes: 1) Jobs, growth and competitiveness, 2) empowering and protecting EU citizens, 3) energy and climate policy, 4) freedom, security and justice, and 5) strengthening the EU as a global actor.

Unfortunately, none of these priorities explicitly relates to health – meaning that both the Presidency Programme and the Trio Programme differ with the EU citizen’s agenda, where health and social care are high. However, this opens an opportunity for the Health in All Policies approach to be applied throughout both programmes and all policies. IT is key to meet future challenges in Europe and to deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights. Moreover, 3 million nurses, being the largest group of the healthcare professions, should be actively involved in the co-design of these policies. Nurses are at the frontline of patient care and have useful knowledge on how to address the challenges faced by the European healthcare systems today.