Finland, last minute campaigning for food agency

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Finland, European union

Finland's prime minister said on Wednesday European Union leaders
should agree to base a planned European Union food agency in
Helsinki at an upcoming summit.

Finland's prime minister said on Wednesday European Union leaders should agree to base a planned European Union food agency in Helsinki at an upcoming summit.

Paavo Lipponen said delegates were likely to agree on a package deal for new agencies at the two-day summit that starts on Friday in Laeken, Belgium.

"Several (agencies) have been proposed and it may be that perhaps some new ones will still be invented... In any case, something of a package solution is being prepared,"​ Lipponen told a news conference.

Diplomats have said the Laeken meeting may be the scene of a fierce battle over where to locate at least eight new or existing institutions ranging from a maritime safety agency to a police academy.

Summit leaders are to discuss questions to be covered by an EU Convention next March.

Lipponen insisted Finland, which does not have any union agencies on its soil, deserved to get the food authority and would not allow it to be linked to other Convention decisions.

Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, who played a key role in Kosovo peace efforts in 1999, has been mentioned as a candidate for chairmanship of the Convention on the Future of Europe.

"Finland's position is that our candidate is Helsinki and that shall not be linked to any other issue such as the chairmanship of the Convention," Lipponen said.

Related topics: Policy

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