Finance Finland is currently setting the Finnish financial sector’s objectives for the next strategic period of the European Commission. The parliamentary elections will be held in all EU member states in early June 2024. The new college of commissioners will take over in autumn 2024, which is also when the Commission will adopt its strategy for the new term.
For the past several years, the European operating environment has been challenged by various crises. The near future outlook continues to be blurry due to foreign and security policy turmoil, economic uncertainty and climate change, which makes it more challenging to lay down the new regulatory strategy. Fortunately, the EU has maintained a high level of unity in many respects.
For the Finnish financial sector, the current global political situation only highlights the importance of Finland’s EU membership. Our goal is for Finland to be an active member in a strong and unified EU. We support the stability of the European financial market and want to take part in the further development of a secure single market for capital. These are the messages that we will also be taking the new Finnish government, which is estimated to start its term in June once the negotiations are concluded.
The EU must ensure its own competitiveness when drafting regulation ‒ and Finland must ensure that the Finnish specificities are taken into account in EU regulation. It is important for regulation to support private and retail investment and the green transition. Our wish for the next Finnish government is to emphasise a proactive approach in Finland’s EU lobbying.
We also place a high priority on the development of the social criteria of ESG and the mitigation of biodiversity loss in upcoming EU regulation. While preparing new regulation for sustainable finance, lessons learned from earlier work in this area should be heeded. After all, the regulation will impact investment over several decades.
The financial sector needs clear and comparable data in its decision-making to avoid the risk of green washing. The sector’s obligations currently contain many interpretation ambiguities and implementation challenges. New regulation is adopted under tight schedules and is partially overlapping or contradicting with other regulation. What the sector needs is more time to adapt and move forward on market terms.
In the coming years, the regulation of the financial sector’s digitalisation and data management will be a major topic. In our view, this regulation should enable new innovation, more efficient operating models and versatile services and support market-based, technology-neutral activities. It should also manage key risks in the market and in investor protection. The principle of “same activity, same risks, same rules” is essential to achieve a level playing field.