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On 1 July 2019, Finland will take over the rotating EU Council Presidency from Romania, for the next six months. Following the Finnish parliamentary elections in April, Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s Government was appointed on 6 June. The Presidency Programme, published on 26 June, details the key priorities for the Finnish Council Presidency, namely: to strengthen common values and the rule of law; to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive; to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action; and, to protect the security of citizens comprehensively.
In the education and training sector, the Finnish Presidency’s key priorities include: advancing Erasmus+ negotiations; fostering continuous learning; promoting future-oriented education; promoting investment in human capital; strengthening equity, equality and effectiveness; and, enhancing cooperation between education and research. According to the Programme, the aim is to “make European education, training and research the best in the world, by developing a future-oriented, wide-ranging strategy for continuous learning that takes into account the transformation of work and digitalisation”. The Programme also announces the need of a “stronger Erasmus programme and a long-term objective of creating a networked European ‘super-university’ model”.
In research and innovation, the key priorities are: steadily increasing the level of R&D investment towards the target 3% of GDP and addressing grand challenges; developing coherently research, education and innovation systems; and, further promoting digitalisation, e.g. through more transparent practices and thus improving quality and increasing effectiveness.