24th Sep 2023

Finland slams EU foreign policy leaks

Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency since 1 July, has accused member states of leaking important foreign policy documents to countries outside the EU, including Israel.

"For a long time it has been known that, within an hour after being distributed to the member states, all EU documents concerning the Middle East have already reached Tel Aviv, and probably Washington and Moscow," Mr Tuomioja wrote in a comment in Hufvudstadsbladet, the biggest Swedish language daily in Finland.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The problem with the EU foreign policy is not the lack of openness, but its false transparency" reads the exceptionally outspoken piece titled: "False transparency".

He went on to write that the leaks have a negative effect on the EU's foreign policy capabilities and encourage member states to act outside the EU's formal decision-making structure.

"This is problematic for the Union as a whole, but particularly harmful to the smaller member states", he wrote.

The very first weeks of the Finnish EU presidency have been extraordinarily busy for Mr Tuomioja with the crisis in Libanon exploding just days after he took over responsibility for the bloc's foreign policy.

In the article, Mr Tuomioja lambasted EU ministers for acting in their national interests and for preparing for EU summits as if they were "entering difficult negotiations with potentially hostile countries."

He also criticised EU officials for giving comments to media prematurely and for giving "highly coloured and nationally conflicting accounts of how the decisions were reached, which many ministers often have a hard time recognizing as descriptions of the meetings they attended."

"It would do wonders to the EU's morale, credibility and effectiveness if ministers were to come to EU meetings with a sense of common purpose and not primarily to collect domestic credits as defined by their national press," he wrote.


Von der Leyen overlooks cost-of-living crisis and job quality

Von der Leyen's speech focused on labour and skills shortages, inflation and improving the business environment. Some trade unions, political groups, and organisations felt that there were missed opportunities to outline a roadmap for a social Europe.


Spain's EU-language bid and UN summit This WEEK

While the heads of EU institutions are in New York for the UN high level meeting, Spain's EU presidency will try to convince ministers to make Catalan, Basque, and Galician official EU languages.

Latest News

  1. Europe's energy strategy: A tale of competing priorities
  2. Why Greek state workers are protesting new labour law
  3. Gloves off, as Polish ruling party fights for power
  4. Here's the headline of every op-ed imploring something to stop
  5. Report: Tax richest 0.5%, raise €213bn for EU coffers
  6. EU aid for Africa risks violating spending rules, Oxfam says
  7. Activists push €40bn fossil subsidies into Dutch-election spotlight
  8. Europe must Trump-proof its Ukraine arms supplies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Medical Devices Regulators Forum (IMDRF)Join regulators, industry & healthcare experts at the 24th IMDRF session, September 25-26, Berlin. Register by 20 Sept to join in person or online.
  2. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  3. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA
  4. International Medical Devices Regulators Forum (IMDRF)Join regulators & industry experts at the 24th IMDRF session- Berlin September 25-26. Register early for discounted hotel rates
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersGlobal interest in the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations – here are the speakers for the launch
  6. Nordic Council of Ministers20 June: Launch of the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us