June 1998

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'Northern Dimension' makes headway in the EU

The Finnish initiative of creating a ‘Northern Dimension’ for the European Union found its way to the final document of the European summit in Cardiff. The document notes "the relevance of the Finnish proposal for a Northern Dimension in the policies of the Union". The Commission’s report on the subject will be discussed in the next summit in Vienna next December.

The Cardiff document notes that the EU has committed itself to help Russia to deal with nuclear waste in the Kola region, near the Finnish border. According to the European Council, this work could be continued within the Northern Dimension.

In the Finnish initiative, the Northern Dimension is seen as part of a broad strategy of co-operation in Northern Europe. The EU is already an actor in the Council of Baltic Sea States and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. Finland would like the EU to become involved also in the Arctic Council.

This is the full text of the statement on the Northern Dimension in the final document of the Cardiff European Council meeting on 15 and 16 June 1998:

Recalling its conclusion at Luxembourg, the European Council notes the relevance of the Finnish proposal for a Northern Dimension in the policies of the Union and the Commission's intention to submit a report for consideration at its next meeting in Vienna. It reiterates thecommitment of the EU to help Russian efforts to tackle the problem of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste in North-West Russia and notes that such work might be taken forward under the proposed Northern Dimension.

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