On 1 July, Finland has taken over the revolving EU Council presidency until the end of the year. The period is significant because of the looming Brexit and post-election changes in the European Commission’s leadership and the composition of the European Parliament.
While the EU institutions are finding their new shape, the next political priorities are being formulated. With the slogan “Sustainable Europe”, the focus of the Finnish presidency is largely on climate action, but digitalisation, artificial intelligence and the data and platform economy are also high on the agenda as drivers for future growth.
EACA had a brief exchange with its member, the Finnish communications association MTL ry to discuss what this means.
In 2015, the association changed its name from reflecting just “marketing communications” (Markkinointiviestinnän toimistojen liitto) to “the association of marketing, technology and creativity” (Markkinoinnin, teknologian ja luovuuden liitto), embracing the ever-more important role of technological developments in advertising.
“Finland is among the world’s most innovative countries according to international rankings”, says Johanna Lohiluoma from EACA’s local member association. “I am confident that Finland will act as an example on how to open-mindedly take up new technological innovations which can help us to control the climate change, transform work and benefit everyday life”.
It is also worth noting that Finland was the first country in the world to make it a legal right for every citizen to have access to a broadband connection. Finnish citizens are also the biggest consumers of mobile data – on average 14.2 gigabytes per sim per month during the first half of 2018 whereas the average for other EU countries is around 2 gigabytes (Statista). That’s quite a playground for mobile marketing!
“During the Presidency, we hope to see brave outputs of Finnish enterprises”, Johanna continues. “We strongly believe in the power of education, manifesting itself through innovations when it comes to the development of new digital, AI and traditional industry products.”
Talking more specifically about the agency world, MTL ry believes that the Presidency can bring some new opportunities. “ “We believe that our member agencies will get more PR service related engagements during the next six months. Finland as an advertising market is very unique and small. The ad budgets have so far been more moderate compared to other countries, but we are awakening to the significance of marketing and investments are growing.”
Perhaps the temporary spotlight of the EU Presidency could be a useful way to boost that? It’s time to market those tech and media skills and opportunities that you have! Good luck to the Finns!