On his final full day in office, Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen laid down Finland's EU policy priorities at the Athens summit. The decision on the location of the European Food Authority must be implemented and Finland must get a top post in the commission or one of its governing bodies, he said.
Lipponen and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have agreed on the details concerning the location of the food authority. However, a final agreement demands the unanimous ascent of the EU summit meeting.
The commission is currently preparing a proposal to determine what functions would be handled by the Parma and Helsinki based offices. Parma would handle matters relating to food culture.
Lipponen also reiterated that Finland is supposed to get a top post either in the commission or one of its administrative bodies. He demanded the commission end its procrastination over the appointments issue.
Turning to Finland's future EU policy, the outgoing premier remains confident. Lipponen noted he could move on to other duties in the knowledge that there would a continuity in EU policy.
He added that Finland's policy increased openness within the EU. In addition, Finland has a good position with regard to developing relations with Russia.