Oikeusministeri Antti Häkkäsen tervehdyspuhe EU-tuomioistuimen vierailun johdosta järjestetyllä illallisella Säätytalolla 22.5.2017
Mr. President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Honoured Members of the Court, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Finland and to the House of the Estates.
Prime Minister also wishes to extend his warmest greetings ? and regrets that abrupt changes in his schedule prevented him from being present among us tonight.
The timing of your visit is optimal in many respects. We just celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. A united Europe has enjoyed a period of peace and increasing prosperity for several decades. The signature of the Treaties was also a landmark for your Court.
We also celebrate the first 100 years of our independence. The slogan of our celebration year is ?Together?. This reflects the Finnish experience: From the very start of our independence, we have valued the equal participation of all citizens, women and men, in building the Finnish society.
?Together? also well echoes the European values. It is only by working ?together? that Europeans may ensure respect for shared common values, peace and prosperity of our continent. These two celebrations invite us to look forward and back, with our feet firmly planted in the present.
Shared common values also contribute to mutual trust between the Member States and their legal systems. Recent experiences have shown that political, legal and practical relevance of mutual trust has only increased in recent years, since mutual trust carries very real and direct implications on citizens and business alike.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has always played a key role in this respect as the Guardian of the Union?s legal system and legality. It has laid down the legal foundations of our Union. Thanks to the Court the European integration has never stagnated. Your jurisprudence has helped us to better meet the expectations of the citizens and economic operators.
In the spirit of the slogan ?Together", we should cooperate closely to promote our values. It is also a question of the credibility and legitimacy of the European Union.
Last but not least, your timing is optimal because the spring is finally here. I hope that you will have a pleasant and productive stay in Helsinki.