Monday sees the start of Finland’s third EU Presidency that will run until the end of 2019. The presidency of the council rotates every six months among the EU member states. Finland, which took over the term from Romania, is expected to focus more on Brexit, the situation in Western Balkans, as well as the appointment of heads to the leading institutions of the bloc.
The EU leaders’ summit began on Sunday in Brussels where they are discussing the candidates for the top positions in the 28-nation bloc.
Leaders of the 28 EU countries will elect the European Council president, nominate a candidate for the president of the European Commission, appoint the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and decide on the president of the European Central Bank.
The first session of the new Parliament will open on Tuesday in Strasbourg. MEPs will then select eight tellers who will oversee the election of the President and set the deadline for the submission of candidacies for Parliament’s presidency. Parliament will elect its president for the next two-and-a-half years on Wednesday. After the election of the president, Parliament will elect the other two main political bodies necessary for the functioning of Parliament's activities: the 14 vice-presidents and then on Wednesday and Thursday, the five quaestors, who will look after the financial and administrative interests of members of the European Parliament.
MEPs will debate the results of the June 20-21 and 30 summits with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday.
Juncker, together with the College of Commissioners, will be in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday and Friday. They will meet with Antti Rinne, prime minister of Finland for an informal dinner on the occasion of the beginning of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council.
The informal meeting of ministers responsible for competitiveness is set to gather in Helsinki on Thursday and Friday to discuss sustainable growth.