Helsinki Declaration on Open Europe


Issued at the Conference of the EESC Employers’ Group, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and Finland Chamber of Commerce

European Economic and Social Committee / Employers Group
Finland Chamber of Commerce
Confederation of Finnish Industries

We, as representatives of employers and business, believe that an open economy and open society are key enablers of European prosperity, wellbeing and way of life. We appreciate the efforts made by Finland’s EU Presidency and encourage EU policymakers to work unremittingly for an open Europe that rests on common EU values and market economy principles.

We call for strengthening the open economy by

  • enhancing a fully functioning single market covering the free movement of goods, services, data, capital and people. As well as providing businesses with bigger markets and better access to resources and a basis for internationalisation, this helps to give people greater choice in their work and their lives;
  • promoting open, rules-based international trade. Negotiations on new and unfinished trade agreements as well as the implementation of existing ones need to be energetically continued. Foreign trade and investment are essential means of reaching global sustainable development goals;
  • adopting innovation, skills and competition as foundations of business and industrial development and the EU’s long-term success as well as fighting all forms of protectionism or restriction of fair competition within the EU and internationally.

We call for fostering an open, values-based society by

  • advocating and defending the rule of law as a foundation of both the economy and society. This not only ensures protection for people, but also provides certainty for investment and doing business;
  • advancing dialogue with businesses and the whole of civil society when shaping policies at national and EU levels. This is vital, as civil society actors are those who turn policies into reality;
  • recognising the diversity of people as a source of innovation and added value in individual organisations and in the whole of society. This must be reinforced by tolerance and non-discrimination.

We believe that through these measures the EU can best contribute to the creation of jobs and wellbeing and seize the opportunities of current and future megatrends such as digital development and climate action.

Helsinki, 9 October 2019


Jacek Krawczyk
the EESC Employers’ Group

Jyri Häkämies
Director General
Confederation of Finnish Industries EK

Juho Romakkaniemi
Finland Chamber of Commerce