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Democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights on agenda in Helsinki on 10–11 September

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Justice
Publication date 5.9.2019 15.48
Press release

The European Union is founded on shared values that guarantee both effective cooperation and the resilience of member states. However, the realisation of these values cannot be taken for granted. Next week, Finland’s Ministry of Justice and Prime Minister’s Office will hold a conference to discuss how to strengthen the EU’s common values, democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

On 10–11 September, the conference will discuss the interaction between democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights as well as the ways to safeguard the resilience of our societies in a changing European landscape. The event is part of the official programme of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The two-day conference will seek answers to questions such as what is the impact of various forms of disinformation on democratic processes, what kinds of rule of law tools the EU has at its disposal, and how to build inclusive societies where the voice of everyone is heard.

“The international operating environment is increasingly difficult to predict, challenging both the EU and its member states. There is a risk that problems in the realisation of fundamental rights, the functioning of democratic processes and the rule of law will start to undermine the foundations of our societies. The EU’s strength comes from its unity. That is why we need joint discussions and shared tools for strengthening the value base of our societies,” says Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson.

The conference will be opened by Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson together with Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen. Keynote speakers in the conference are European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová, First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Michael O’Flaherty.

“Respect for the rule of law and EU’s shared values is a condition for the success of the EU. As the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Finland is committed to developing the rule of law dialogue with member states. We are all committed to our shared values, such as respect for democracy and human rights. Their realisation requires constant work,” says Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen.

Strengthening the rule of law is one of the key themes of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The EU’s shared values are also strongly reflected in the European Council’s Strategic Agenda for the next five years.


Malin Brännkärr, State Secretary to the Minister of Justice, tel. +358 40 534 7727, [email protected]

Kaisa Tiusanen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150 169, [email protected]

Matti Niemi, Special Adviser to the Minister for European Affairs, tel. +358 45 679 1717, [email protected]

Henriikka Leppo, Senior EU Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 023, [email protected]

EU2019FI backgrounder: Strengthening the rule of law 

EU2019FI backgrounder: Strengthening fundamental rights within the EU 

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