Finland warns against corruption and misdirected spending from the Reconstruction Fund



‘I believe that in the coming year, and probably for a long time, we will have hugely important European debates on the rules for our economies and it should be made clear from the outset that Finland does not support the dissolution of the treaties nor a greater community responsibility ”. The Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, has been against any step in the direction of the mutualisation of European debt, although open to reforming stability objectives. “The current situation in many member states is far from the debt limit of 60% and a maximum budget deficit of 3%, and we have to invest to be competitive,” he justified, “it is about finding a new balance without affecting the treaties ».

About to turn 36 years old and in office since 2019, Marin thus marks his position against Germany, where the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who is currently negotiating with Greens and Liberals the formation of a “stoplight” government, is still finalizing the German strategy for the next four years with his partners. ‘Finland is very strict: we want all Member States to stand on a solid economic footing. And we will be tough on the debt issue ”, has cemented future conversations with the potential German Chancellor, who both during the electoral campaign and in the coalition agreement process has spoken out in favor of greater advances in common European fiscal policy and he has even flirted with the possibility of Eurobonds. “We are against the manipulation of the Maastricht Treaties. That would open the door to many very difficult discussions, “he warned,” I am concerned about the voices of some EU countries that are already yearning for the next reconstruction fund. And that, although in fact we have not yet used the funds from this fund, “he said, making it perfectly clear that” there will be no second reconstruction fund with Finland.

Marin has also called on the EU to get more resources involved in monitoring the use of the Reconstruction Fund. «We need to make sure money goes to the right areas and is well spent. There are clear conditions for this. For me, this is a real opportunity for Europe to make our economy more sustainable, greener and more digital. We need to use this tool to reform our economies. It has also expressed concern about the loss of competitiveness of European partners. “We have to make sure that all of our countries are competitive. Through the necessary transformations, through the strengthening of our educational systems, more investments in research. We do not want to disassociate ourselves, we do not want to isolate ourselves. We want to speak with China and the US on an equal footing, “he explained, calling for dialogue with both powers and a search for pragmatic relations.

Marin defended in an interview with the German salmon newspaper Handelsblatt that “we have to discuss how we can guarantee the investments that are necessary today and in the future to make our societies more climate neutral, more digital and more technologically innovative. We have to find a balance… ». “In part, it is a job that we, as the EU, can do together. But what is decisive is what we do as Member States. Finland, for example, aims to increase spending on research and development to 4% of economic output by 2030, from 2.9% in 2020. This is critical to our own competitiveness. If we don’t set the course today, we won’t be competitive in ten years ‘time.’

Finland is awaiting the Commission’s proposals to reform European financial rules before taking a position, but warns from the outset that it will not accept that the precedent set by the Reconstruction Fund, as a debt-sharing initiative, cannot go any further. “This is absolutely impossible for Finland. We would not accept a second instrument of reconstruction. That was unique due to the pandemic. The Constitutional Committee of the Finnish Parliament would never accept a review, and we need a two-thirds majority in the entire parliament for such decisions, “he told the German authorities,” the recovery fund is described as a success for the EU in the pandemic , but at the same time it shows how slow the EU is. The money has not yet been spent. Now Member States have to spend the € 750 billion plus normal EU funds over the next three years. The Court of Auditors warns against corruption and misdirected spending.

He has also outlined his hard line with respect to Poland. ‘We have to take a tough stance when the EU’s common values ​​are questioned,’ he argued, ‘or more important is mutual respect. We Member States must respect each other, respect our differences and our different views on European politics. But at the same time, we must be committed to the same core values, including the core values ​​of the EU. ‘

See them


Source link