Rising to the Challenge: Finland’s Urgent Need for a Proactive Industrial Policy in Europe

An export support instrument is needed for Finland in the EU

Timo Harakka emphasizes the importance of Finland taking bold actions to secure its future in Europe rather than being pushed into a corner by nagging issues. The country has always supported open competition in the EU internal market, but recent changes have seen a shift towards state subsidies and joint responsibility funds under the guise of crises. This presents a challenge for Finland to respond to and protect its national interest.

The current debate in Parliament over the government’s EU influence program reveals a longing for the return to the past, which may not serve Finland’s interests well. The unequal distribution of state aid among EU countries, with Germany and France taking the lion’s share, puts Finland at a competitive disadvantage. It is clear that staying passive will not improve Finland’s competitive situation.

To address these challenges, business and academia representatives are urging Finland to present its own industrial policy alternatives to protect its interests and enhance its competitive position. The Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have proposed an export support instrument to the EU, which could benefit Finnish companies and strengthen Europe’s global position.

The EU and the European Investment Bank are also urged to create an export support instrument that guarantees competitive financing for critical technologies acquired from the EU. This would benefit small member states like Finland and ensure public funds are used neutrally and competitively. Finland’s expertise in data processing and transfer could benefit greatly from EU-level support for future technologies.

Overall, Finland must take bold actions and present its own industrial policy alternatives to protect its interests and enhance its competitive position in Europe. Staying passive will not improve Finland’s situation in the face of changing dynamics in the EU and global markets.

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