Finland in the European Union

Finland in the European Union

Finland in the European Union

Finland in the European Union


Introduces the main features of the Finnish political system, examines the impact of EU membership on national politics, and explains why Finnish governments are so committed to European integration.


The accession of Finland to the European Union in 1995 was a logical and decisive step in Finland's long-standing policy of participation in European integration. Successive governments had pursued that policy with success since the time of the last war. By joining the Union Finland took her place in the new Europe emerging from Cold War division. Membership in the Union has strengthened Finland's international position and it is fair to say that it is now stronger than ever before.

In the referendum organised in October 1994, Finland's membership was approved by 57 per cent of voters. Since then support for membership has remained steady. As in many other member states, Finns don't always love the Union, which is at times seen as a distant bureaucracy meddling too much with issues considered primarily local, not European.

But citizens put high value on the political and economic stability that membership in the European Union brings with it.

The broad aims and goals of Finland's EU-policy are widely supported across party-political lines at Eduskunta, the Finnish parliament. Right from the beginning of EU-membership Finland has relied on an advanced system of extensive consultation with the parliament on EU-policy. Aiming at full transparency and close interaction with the parliament, government ministers, including the Prime Minister, report on Council and the European Council meetings to the European Affairs Committee. This has done a great deal in enhancing democratic legitimacy and securing wide support for government's policy.

For a small country like Finland, the Union presents a unique opportunity to influence Europe's development and to strengthen positive interdependence in the Northern region with integration. the main feature of Finland's EU-policy has been active participation in strengthening and developing the Union. For Finland the Union is a tool in securing equal rights not only for the Member States but also for Europe's citizens and businesses. Finland has naturally strived to defend her own interests, for example in agriculture and regional policy, but has tried to do this by

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