On 13 June 2006, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs organised together with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) a conference entitled WHERE NEXT FOR EUROPE? Challenges and Priorities for the Finnish EU Presidency. The conference was held in the New Annex Building of the Parliament in Helsinki.
During the day several prominent international experts discussed the critical issues that the European Union faces. The first session, chaired by Professor Wolfgang Wessels, focused on the current challenges of chairing the European Union. In this session, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen spoke about some priority issues of the Finnish Presidency whereas Mr Jacques Delors, in a video interview, criticized the lost vision of the European leaders. Respectively the three following sessions brought up questions and answers regarding the common neighbourhood of the EU and Russia, the economic challenges posed by China and India to the European economic and social policies, and Turkey in the European Union.
Some 250 participants attended the conference.
The TEPSA presidency conference is organised twice a year in the capital of the incoming presidency country. The next one will be in Berlin in late November.