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FINLAND

Paola Tamma at Politico tweets a useful thread on the current hold up of the Next Generation EU budget plans in the Finnish Parliament (edited for length):

  • "Finland is one of the countries that's still due to ratify the Own Resources Decision, a precondition for the Commission to borrow hundreds of billions €€€ on the markets 4 EU recovery fund.
  • Its 5 party coalition controls 117 out of 200 seats, and the government needs a 2/3 majority of *votes cast* to pass it, which observers expect it to reach— a vote was scheduled Wednesday but has been delayed by endless requests to speak, mostly by rightwing Finns Party
  • On Thursday the Finns Party requested to table a plenary debate on June 30, which would have delayed EU funds for *everyone*, since the ratification process needs to be over by then before Comm can tap markets in July (it's always the month following complete ratification)
  • The Speaker denied this request, and Finns Party asked to request the opinion of the constitutional affairs committee on whether that's legal. They just lost a vote on that, meaning there won't be a referral, but a new vote isn't yet scheduled.
  • This is Filibuster tactics and unlikely to derail the process, perhaps only delay it (and only *if* a vote doesn't happen before June 30). But it does show how controversial the issue of common debt is in Europe. Finns Party's opposition hinges on the idea of permanent EU debt.
  • Helsinki Times reported that 40% of Finns agreed and 38% disagreed with the statement that participating in the €750B facility is in the best interests of the country, according to a survey by pro-market think tank Finnish Business and Policy Forum
  • CommissionEVP Valdis Dombrovskis tweeting in Finnish to try to reassure the debt-sceptic Finns: "It is clear to the Commission that #NextGenerationEU The instrument is one-off, unique and strictly limited in time."
  • While legally correct (legal basis is ART 122 of the EU treaty, "exceptional occurrences,) this is a political half-truth. Many including within the Commission see this as a test-case for permanent fiscal integration — exactly what the Finns (and not only them) are wary of."

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