- Title: FINLAND/ BELGIUM - FINLAND OPTS TO JOIN EU
- Date: 16th October 1994
- Summary: HELSINKI, FINLAND/ BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 16, 1994) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) HELSINKI 1. LV/GV EXT. TENT WHERE REFERENDUM CELEBRATIONS ARE TAKING PLACE (2 SHOTS) 0.05 2. LV PEOPLE CELEBRATING AT PARTY 0.09 3. SV PEOPLE WAVING FINNISH FLAGS 0.12 4. LV PEOPLE WATCHING RESULTS ON BIG SCREEN 0.15 5. SV/ZOOM-OUT/CU VIEWS OF CELEBRATIONS/PEOPLE WATCHING SCREEN (6 SHOTS) 0.40 6. MCU SWEDISH EUROPEAN AFFAIRS MINISTER NILS HELLSTROM SPEAKING 1.05 7. HAS,LV PARTY SCENE 1.11 8. LV/MCU FINNISH PRIME MINISTER ESKO AHO SPEAKING (2 SHOTS) 1.46 BRUSSELS 9. ZOOM -OUT/SV PEOPLE CELEBRATING RESULT OF REFERENDUM (4 SHOTS) 2.00 10.SV/LV EUROPEAN EXTERNAL POLITICAL AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER HANS VAN DEN BROEK SPEAKING (2 SHOTS) 2.47 TRANSCRIPT OF SEQUENCE 6: HELLSTROM: "FINLAND IS ONE OF OUR CLOSEST NEIGHBOURS. WE WERE TOGETHER IN ONE COUNTRY FOR MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS. NOW THAT THE ORDINARY FINNISH MAN AND WOMAN VOTES YES, AND FOUND IT IN THEIR INTEREST AND COMPATIBLE WITH THEIR INDEPENDENCE, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TOO. I DO HOPE THAT SWEDEN WILL VOTE YES, TOO." TRANSCRIPT OF SEQUENCE 8: ESKO: "I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS RESULT OF THE REFERENDUM IS POLITICALLY BINDING AND IT CREATES A BASIS FOR THE RATIFICATION PROCESS IN FINLAND. WHEN OUR PARLIAMENT IS GOING TO DO ITS FINAL DECISION, DEPENDS ON THE TIME NEEDED FOR VERY GOOD HANDLING OF THIS LARGE AND HISTORIC ISSUE." TRANSCRIPT OF SEQUENCE 10: VAN DEN BROEK : "WE HAVE TO AWAIT THE FINAL DECISION OFTHE FINNISH PARLIAMENT, BUT THE RESULT AUGURS WELL IN VIEW OF THE TWO OTHER REFERENDA : THE ONE OF SWEDEN BY THE MIDDLE OF NOVEMBER AND THE ONE OF NORWAY BY THE END OF NOVEMBER. I FEEL ENCOURAGED AND CONFIDENT THAT THOSE REFERENDA WILL FOLLOW THIS SPLENDID EXAMPLE FROM FINLAND." Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 31st October 1994 12:00
- Location: HELSINKI, FINLAND/ BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: EUROPE Belgium SCANDINAVIA Finland
- Reuters ID: LVA4KZYF8WROAKC8CMPS98V2LU9Q
- Story Text: Finland, seeking closer Western ties after the demise of the Soviet Union, opted on Sunday (October 16) to join the European Union (EU) in a vote which paves the way for enlarging the 12-nation group into the Arctic and to the Russian border.
In a referendum on Sunday (October 16) - the first among three Nordic EU applicants - Finns voted by 57 to 43 percent to join the EU on January 1.
Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho said the result provided a basis for ratification by the parliament.
Around Europe capitals hailed the Finns' decision, saying it would help win over sceptical voters in Sweden and Norway, which face their own crucial referendums next month.
In Brussels European External Political Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek welcomed the outcome and said he hoped it would influence referenda in Sweden and Norway next month on their prospective EU membership.
Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Nils Hellstrom said he hoped the Finnish result would provide an example to Sweden, showing that EU membership was compatible with independence.
Membership was long ruled out because of the country's neutrality, but the collapse of Soviet Union, which exerted a strong influence on Finnish policy, enabled Helsinki to launch the bid for membership in March 1992.
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