Finland’s EU Presidency cost just two-thirds of the budget

Money was saved with fewer meetings, more video conferencing, and keeping other admin and staff costs to a minimum.

Detail of blue balloons with EU logo / Credit: News Now Finland

The final cost to Finland of hosting the rotating six-month Presidency of the European Council last year was much cheaper than expected.

New figures show the government earmarked some €81.3 million for the Presidency which ran from 1st July until 31st December 2019. However they only ended up spending €55 million.

That makes the EU Presidency about a third cheaper than forecast, according to a statement that Finland released to the EU’s Committee of Ministers on Thursday.

The costs were kept down by holding fewer meetings, concentrated in Helsinki and Brussels; using more video conferencing; saving costs on items like gifts for participants; and being more savvy about the number of additional staff and purchases needed during the six month period.

The estimated costs for the 2019 Presidency were already 20% lower than the costs for the last time Finland hosted the European Council Presidency back in 2006.