Building a better Europe is a common task, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said on Monday after meeting Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán in Budapest. He told a joint press conference that he had discussed with Orbán the tasks of Finland’s European Union presidency, including EU enlargement, Brexit and the budget. He said he believed that measures against climate change and observing the principles of constitutionality must be preconditions for getting access to European Union funding. Commenting on the latter, he said a well-balanced and legally clear method was needed.
Regarding EU enlargement, he said Finland would like to see a decision made at October’s EU summit about the start of talks with Albania and North Macedonia. A convincing perspective should be offered to the Western Balkans if reforms progress as needed, and constitutionality is also an important precondition, he added. Commenting on Brexit, he said there were great differences in opinion among EU member states. Britain’s exit will hopefully happen in line with a deal but there is not much time left for talks, he added.
In response to a question, he said that the principles that the EU was based on had created peace and stability in Europe and the system of values played a central role in this, which were built on equality, respect for human rights and constitutionality.
In response to another question, he said four countries had set a common goal in Malta to reach a temporary agreement on the distribution of migrants arriving on the Mediterranean. Holding the EU presidency, Finland is monitoring this process, he added. He also said in response to a question that there were well-functioning control systems for monitoring the use of EU resources and if they were not being used in line with regulations sanctions would be implemented. He praised Finnish-Hungarian bilateral relations and said that the two countries had been cooperating in several areas for a long time.