Finland’s policy towards the European Union will not change as a consequence of the appointment of Sampo Terho (PS) as the Minister of Culture, Sports and European Affairs, asserts Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).
Terho has floated the possibility of holding a membership referendum and, overall, seemed reluctant to quell speculation over the country’s future in the bloc.
He is to formally assume his ministerial duties on Friday. The responsibilities will include representing Finland in the looming negotiations over the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Terho served as a Member of the European Parliament in 2011–2015 and is currently campaigning to succeed Timo Soini (PS) as the chairperson of the Finns Party.
The Finnish Government does not subscribe to his views on the EU, stresses Sipilä.
“It certainly does not. The government programme sets forth our policy towards Europe, and together we have agreed to stick to our policy. You should expect no changes in the policy towards the EU,” Sipilä stated to media outlets ahead of an extraordinary meeting of EU heads of state in Brussels on Saturday.
The Government decided in its mid-term session to create three new ministerial portfolios in order to reduce the workload of certain ministers. The ministerial appointments are to be confirmed in a presidential session on Friday, 5 May, 2017.
European affairs currently fall within the remit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Soini.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi