Finland aims to use EU presidency to push for budget cuts for states breaching rule of law

epa07688783 Finland's Prime Minister Antti Rinne arrives for the Special European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 02 July 2019. Heads of states or governments from the EU are continuing discussions on the possible candidates for the heads of EU institutions, namely European Council President, President of the European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Foreign Policy Chief), and President of the European Central Bank. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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Finland will use its EU presidency to push for the adoption of contentious Brussels plans to cut budget payments to states that breach the rule of law, setting up a potential showdown with several central and eastern European states, the Financial Times reports.

Helsinki’s intent to make the rule of law the priority of its six-month rotating presidency is likely to further stoke tensions with countries  which are already targets of EU disciplinary processes for alleged violations of bloc rules and values.

Tuppurainen insisted Helsinki did not want to “name and shame and [be] pointing fingers” at particular capitals, despite what she acknowledged were vocal criticisms of the European Commission’s budget proposals from some quarters. “It’s not about taking money away from certain countries,” she told the Financial Times. “It’s a preventive measure and it’s meant to apply to all of the member states.”

The Financial Times says that the move likely to stoke tensions with countries including Hungary and Poland.

More on the Financial Times 

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