Last week, the EU Commission presented its proposal for a major corona stimulus package of up to € 750 billion.
Finland's share would be just over 8 billion, of which Finland would get back about 3 billion euros.
The Finnish EU Committee of Ministers stated on Thursday that the Commission's proposal for a stimulus fund is not acceptable to Finland, at least as such. Finland demands several changes to the proposal. For example, Finland demands that the proposal is too large and that a loan procedure be better for Finland.
According to European Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SD), gift money will never be accepted. In addition, the aid must be targeted at those areas which Korona has been particularly affected by.
Finland's position will be finally decided by a large committee that will hear the experts tomorrow.
Thursday’s debate was quite critical for all parties. As such, the Commission's proposal did not receive the support of the parties, but each party saw criticism in terms of terms, amount or distribution. The position of the Basic Finns and the Christian Democrats towards the activities of the entire Union was even more critical than other parties.
The representatives also reiterated their concerns about whether the Union would be persuaded by other countries to support Finland's skeptical position on the proposed support package.
At the beginning of the stimulus debate, Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni (center) said that this is a large entity. Finland must be careful in forming its position.
Kulmuni said that Finland cannot accept the recovery instrument in the form proposed by the Commission.
- Our starting point is that the support is loan-oriented. We are ready to look at all options, but the relative share of grant support needs to decrease, Kulmuni said.
Member of Parliament Jani Mäkelä spoke to the group Finns.
- The government is passing on to us the demand in Brussels that we send billions of euros in gifts to the old and new crisis countries. The government brings a proposal to Parliament that has not had time to get acquainted with, Mäkelä criticizes.
Other opposition parties also criticized the fact that group speeches had to be written without knowing the government's position, as information about the handling of the EU Recovery Fund did not reach MPs until the afternoon.
Mäkelä also questioned whether Finland, as a small EU country, could influence the package, or whether the vote would be completely drowned out.
- Have we said that you pay the losses of your banks yourself, as we have done. Gig over your oversized debts, raise taxes or cut your expenses, Mäkelä said.
The Coalition Party's Anne-Mari Virolainen also criticized the government for not being aware of its position in time. According to the Estonian, the busy procedure undermines the prestige of the parliament.
The Coalition Party welcomed the Commission's aim, but criticized the proposal for not treating EU countries equally. The Estonian emphasized that structural funds could not be remedied with the fund's resources.
- Corona revitalization must focus on those areas and sectors that suffer the most from the corona crisis, Virolainen said.
MP Kimmo Kiljunen gave the speech to the ruling party SDP.
Kiljunen emphasized that the EU member states must work together to combat the problems caused by the coronavirus in the best possible way.
However, the proposal as such does not satisfy the party.
- It should be emphasized that the Commission's proposal is only the beginning of formal negotiations between member states and requires significant corrections, Kiljunen said.
However, according to the SDP, the rapid recovery of the EU is in Finland's interest. However, each country should be allowed to bear its own finances and debts. In addition, the recovery fund should be temporary and smaller in size.
- The member states are strongly connected to each other, and the Union is both an important frame of reference and a security community for Finland. In future negotiations on the recovery fund, the uses of the budget and also what Finland's yields will be must be carefully assessed.
Christian Democrat Sari Essayah fears the recovery fund is building a fiscal union.
This could therefore mean that the Union becomes more federal and receives, for example, the right to tax.
According to Essayah, the fund could inflate the Union’s borrowing and allow for taxation.
"The Marin government is giving its approval to all this," Essayah asked.
Member of the Left Alliance gave a speech by Member of Parliament Jussi Saramo.
- In the euro crisis, Member States paid for support packages that actually rescued German and French banks. This mistake must not be repeated, Saramo said.
He said that it was necessary to ensure that stimulus funds were directed towards accelerating the ambitious green agenda and that investments were focused on digitalisation, skills, health and the protection of social rights.
Support should be conditional on the protection of human rights and the rule of law. The support should also not affect Finland's domestic policy.
- It is crucial to ensure that the Commission's decision-making power on economic policy is not increased at the expense of national parliaments. The terms of the recovery fund must not become a tightening screw for the Commission, calling for structural reforms or economic discipline, a tough policy of privatization and austerity, Saramo said.
In her group speech, Satu Hassi from the Greens emphasized that Finland also needs support.
- The threat posed by a communicable disease is not limited to one country. The same goes for the crown of the economy. What happens in other EU countries also affects us. Joint EU action is needed, but it must be chosen wisely, Hassi said.
According to the Greens, the size of the support package is justified, as the interest rate crisis is unprecedented in the history of the Union.
According to Hassi, the Greens would be prepared to increase Union funding through non-membership fees as well. In practice, this would be largely about emissions taxes.
- We welcome the fact that money for future investments is raised by taxing harmful things, such as carbon dioxide emissions or plastic waste. The more joint investments are financed in this way, the less we need to take care of the growth of the common debt and Finland's guarantee liabilities, Hassi specified.
However, the measures must be funded fairly.
In her group speech, Eva Biaudet of the RKP said that the crisis caused by the corona pandemic could not be overcome by building new walls in Europe.
According to Biaudet, the stimulus package will allow the European economy to roll back, but at the same time we can move towards sustainable development.
According to the RKP, the aid package is therefore justified, but should be more loan-oriented. It should also be emphasized that the package is specifically aimed at overcoming the crisis.