Active and open communication makes the Finnish Presidency more familiar

Finland has held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union since 1 July. The Presidency means broad co-operation, close coordination and good communication with ministries and the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU. Finland is now at the centre of the EU and everyone is working hard to make things successful.

Finland’s Presidency aims to ensure open, professional, reliable and prompt communication. The Prime Minister’s Office coordinates communication during the Presidency. It is very important to have common principles when it comes to communication. In that way, we can make sure that we communicate actively, openly and equally in every Ministry.

Content available in many channels

The easiest way to keep up with Finland’s Presidency is to visit the Presidency website,, and follow the various social media channels (@eu2019fi, @lvmfi). There you can find interesting and useful information about Finland’s priorities and upcoming events, for example.

I hope you have found the latest columns published on the website. There is a new column published every week. In October, Director-General Olli-Pekka Rantala from the Ministry of Transport and Communications wrote a column on digital mobility services. The columns are a convenient way to get to know the main topics of the Finnish Presidency and the specialists behind these themes.

There is a lot of useful content on the website of the Council of the European Union. Did you know that you can follow most of the Council meetings online? You can watch ministers’ doorstep interviews and press conferences in the newsroom of the Council of the European Union.

On the website of the Council of the European Union, you can find the main outcomes of the Council meetings, background information, meeting information, photos and videos. All this in 24 languages.

It’s also very valuable that many public officials communicate via social media channels, and not just the organisation itself or the communications unit. I’m glad that at the Ministry of Transport and Communications we have very many specialists who are also active on social media. Research has shown that a message has much more influence on social media if an individual shares the message, rather than an organisation.

Coordination ensures good communication

The Presidency means active coordination in communication, especially during the Council meetings. Communications officers at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU have a very important role to play before and during the Council meetings. It’s not rare to have several meetings in the same week.

The press office of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the official communications of the Council meetings, but there’s also a lot that needs to be done in the ministries, at the Prime Minister’s Office and at the Permanent Representation of Finland. Someone has to write the press releases, someone has to plan the content for the social media channels, someone has to update the website, someone has to answer media inquiries and someone has to organise the press conferences.

The main messages tell us about the goals

In all communication, the main messages are the most relevant. One of the main messages during Finland’s Presidency is to emphasise the importance of raising the EU’s profile as a global leader in climate action. This can be accomplished by adopting a long-term climate strategy aimed at making the EU carbon-neutral by 2050. This was also the main message at the Transport Council in September. Questions relating to climate change have been discussed throughout the whole Presidency.

The main themes of the Ministry of Transport and Communications during the Finnish Presidency are data economy, transport automation, digitalisation in transport services and carbon-free transport. All these themes have been on the agenda during the Presidency, most recently at the Digital Transport Days conference. Now we are waiting for the High-Level Conference on Data Economy to be held in Helsinki at the end of November.

I hope that Finland’s Presidency has made the EU a little more familiar to you. The Finnish Presidency is about to end soon and next it’s the turn of Croatia to chair the Council of the EU.

We will continue to promote important questions in transport, communications and climate change. So stay tuned and follow the Ministry’s own channels!

Johanna Stenholm
Head of Communications, Ministry of Transport and Communications
Council of EU – Newsroom
Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU @Twitter
EU Council Press @Twitter
Ministry of Transport and Communications @Twitter
Digital Transport Days
High-Level Conference on Data Economy

Kirjoittanut: Johanna Stenholm