Prompted by the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, the Finnish government has deemed it appropriate to shed some light (fi) on its starting position in the upcoming EU constitutional treaty negotiations. It released a memorandum (fi, PDF) that contains some but not all of the confidential information I wrote about last week. Compared to what was previously shared with the Foreign Affairs Committee, this public version specifically lacks any word on Finland's negotiating room.
It appears that the government is generously willing to accept any and all cosmetic changes, if that's what it takes:
[Helsingin Sanomat] quoted a government memorandum to Parliament as saying that the government was prepared to transfer the key reforms contained in the draft charter to the existing treaties "if this is a prerequisite for reaching a general settlement on treaty reform".Finland wants to see the EU's pillar structure dismantled and the reforms to EU organs that were proposed in the draft constitution implemented. Flags, hymns, the name of the treaty, titles of EU officials, et cetera are unimportant. The general idea remains that Finland would like to see as few substantial changes to the draft constitution as possible. Still, breaking the bloody thing into small pieces, presumably to avoid referendums on the whole of it, might seem just a little bit cynical to some.
The memorandum added that Finland supported the initiative to summon an intergovernmental conference to carry on the efforts to reform the union's founding treaties.