Cooperation with the Parliament
In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, the Finnish Parliament participates in the handling of EU matters. The Parliament addresses EU proposals on matters that would otherwise fall within the mandate of the Parliament. The Government submits these matters to the Parliament by a Union communication (U communication). The communications are discussed at government plenary sessions and include the contents of the Commission’s proposal, a description of its effects and the Government’s preliminary position. A so-called Europe communication (E communication) is submitted to the Parliament on other matters that are considered so important that they should be discussed by the Parliament. Their contents are largely similar to U communications. Both types of communication are discussed in the competent special committees and the Grand Committee, which gives the Parliament’s opinion on the matter.
In addition to official communications, members of the Government participating in Council meetings give the Grand Committee reports on the issues discussed at the meetings and present the Government’s position on the matters. Ministers are usually heard on future Council meetings on the Friday before the meeting. The Grand Committee also receives memorandums prepared for the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs concerning the matters discussed in Council meetings.
It is also an established practice that the Parliament’s Agriculture and Forestry Committee is informed on a weekly basis about matters discussed at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council and other current EU affairs.