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Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue

Stand on European policy


  • Puolue: Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue
  • Otsikko: Stand on European policy
  • Vuosi: 1999
  • Ohjelmatyyppi: muu ohjelma

The Finnish Social Democratic Party

XXXVIII Party Congress
May 26-30, 1999, Turku

STAND ON EUROPEAN POLICY

Approved on May 28, 1999

Unauthorized translation

European Union faces the biggest challenges of its existence at the turn of the millennium. As a mem-ber of EU Finland participates in European decision-mak-ing and bears her responsibility for its suc-cess. Finland's responsibility will be more pronounced during presidency in the latter half of 1999 when many far-reaching decisions on EU's development will be made.

SDP has for years developed and realized consistent policy with respect to European Union. SDP has since 1995 been able to influence Finnish European policy through parliament and government. How-ever, SDP's European policy has not been acting only via national institutions and national decision-making. At least as important has been participation in formation of public opinion. SDP has within the party discussed Finland's relation with the European Union and the party's decisions and its policies have marked European policy of whole Finland.

SDP has had direct influence on a European level through Party of European Socialists, the Group of PES and other European social democratic cooperation fora. Europe goes to a new millennium led mostly by social democratic governments. It gives European social democracy new possibilities and more responsibility. If European social democracy fails in bearing responsibility the consequences may be far-reaching for it and the whole Europe.

1. Eleven out of fifteen Member States started to use common currency, euro, with the third phase of EMU. Of the four outside members Greece has set an objective of belonging to euroregion by 2002 and the others will reconsider their relation to euroregion in the next few years.

The third phase of EMU has started without presumed common economic policy. Central Bank of Europe has not got along it an institute or structure to coordinate economic policy of the govern-ments. To make up for these shortcomings an understanding of forms of decision-making and con-tents of economic policy must be reached.

SDP has made its decision to join euroregion on the basis of Maastricht Treaty and stability agree-ment. SDP supports development of a European economic policy according to these agreements.

2. European Union negotiates on enlargement with the applicant countries. From the beginning of 1998 five countries from Eastern Europe and Cyprus have participated in the negotiations. Prerequi-site for membership is the ability of new countries to attend to their membership obligations and adaptation of their economic and social systems to membership. In this connection SDP emphasizes that the applicant countries shall reach EU level in labour market and environmental legislation.

SDP supports enlargement. Enlargement benefits both new and old members. SDP considers it spe-cially important to support the Baltic countries so that they can participate in the first stage of en-largement. New Member States will be admitted to cooperation that secures peace, democracy, political and economic stability. Old Member States benefit as stability in Europe increases and single market widens. The economic, social and labour market problems connected with enlargement can be solved. Many of the problems connected with enlargement - such as agriculture and structural policy and financing - would have to be solved in the next few years anyhow.

3. EU must improve its functional ability in foreign and security policy. European security system is based on respect for human rights, prevention of conflicts and cooperation in peace-keeping and peacemaking. EU must also bear its responsibility for global questions in security policy.

SDP supports Finnish participation in common European security policy on the basis of military non-alignment.

4. SDP supports Europe being developed as an open economic area. EU must be open towards both developed market economies and developing countries. Especially trade policy of the Union must be renewed to promote economic development and trade of developing countries. In WTO we must work in order to observe environmental and social norms when developing the rules of world trade.

5. All the Member States have accepted the basic structures of social dimension. European social model is being developed on the basis of an agreement society so that all European countries can maintain their own culture and system of their own tradition. Emphasis is on European employment policy: unemployment is a threat to European social model. If we don't solve it, European social dimension has no future.

6. SDP supports drawing up of a common employment strategy for European Union. The objective of the strategy must be full employment on a highest possible level.