FCCJ LUNCHEON MEETING 15 MARCH 2004
Theme:
"On Present Challenges Facing the EU and Finland"

Guest Speaker:
Mininster Antti Kalliomäki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
RECAP
Minister Kalliomäki pointed out that East Asia is now the most dynamic region of the world economy. The European countries, big or small, just cannot afford to ignore what is going on here. On the contrary, it has become vitally important that we keep us well informed of the latest developments I this region.

Regarding his topic, challenges facing the European Union and Finland:
In the outside world, Europe is often considered to be the "old continent", a backward-looking region lacking economic dynamism, entrepreneurship, capacity to change and potential to grow. And whatLs worse, this view is not totally unfounded.
If you compare Europe to America, it is obvious that the business environment in Europe is more rigid and less competitive. Despite the EU and its Single Market policies, the European market is still fragmented by national regulations, historical institutions and cultural barriers.
The other major challenge to Europe concerns its ageing population. It is a problem common with Japan.

Minister Kalliomäki concluded, that despite these shortcomings - which to a certain degree belong to the human nature - he is optimistic about the future. After all, the EU is an embodiment of achievements on which to build. We donLt need to start from scratch.

Minister Kalliomäki's presentation i full
IMAGES FROM THE MEETING
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FCCJ President Timo Varhama introduces the guest speaker. Left Age B. Grutle, Ambassador-Designate of Norway and center Ambassador of Iceland, Ingimundur Sigfusson.
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Minister Kalliomäki making his presentation.
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Center Swedish Ambassador Mikael Lindström, at right Finnish Ambassador Eero Salovaara
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The guest speaker and FCCJ President comparing notes.
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Center Mr. Argo Kangro, Charge d'Affairs at the Embassy of Estonia, and right of him, FCCJ Vice President Mika Mäkinen.
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Press Counsellor Liisa Karvinen and members of the press.
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The luncheon was attended by 61 members and guests
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