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Finland is one of the five Nordic countries and the northernmost country in the EU. Finland is one of the most sparsely-populated countries in the EU and is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east.
The most important sectors of Finland’s economy in 2012 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (21.9 %), industry (19.1 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (17.5 %).
Finland’s main export partners are Sweden, Russia and Germany, while its main import partners are Russia, Germany and Sweden.
Geographical size: 338 434.7 km2
Population: 5 401 267 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population: 1.1 % (2012)
GDP: € 192.35 billion (2012)
EU language(s): Finnish, Swedish
Political system: parliamentary republic
EU member country since: 1 January 1995
Seats in the European Parliament: 13
Currency: Eurozone member since 1 January 1999
Passport-free travel?: Yes, Schengen Area member since 19 December 1996
Presidency of the Council: Finland has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU twice, in 1999 and 2006. The next time will be in 2020.
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Finnish government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Finnish presidencies:
Jul-Dec 1999 | Jul-Dec 2006 | Jan-Jun 2020
More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Commission representation in Finland
Finland has 9 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
Finland has 9 representatives on the Committee of the Regions , the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Finland also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Finland's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Finland’s finances with the EU in 2012:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
The money paid into the EU budget by Finland helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.
Find out more about how Finland benefits from EU funding.