When times are rough, EU needs your vote

Kuvassa Euroopan murhattujen juutalaisten muistomerkki

What is your relationship with the EU? Now is a perfect time to think.

Finland has been part of the Union for almost 30 years – for a whole generation, that is. In the early years, getting to the “core of Europe” had its own charm for us. Detachment from Russia’s influence and confirmation of Western identity. Well, this stardust has vanished since then – politics is as mundane as ever and red tape rules in Brussels.

Most Finns recognize that the EU is a better option than being on our own. In addition, in the last couple of years, NATO membership has made us more appealing.

Euroscepticism has also always touched a part of the population. “Where’s EU, there’s problems,” slashed veteran politician Timo Soini years ago. The slogan summed up the prejudices and remained a classic – even though the majority of Finns are in favour of the EU.

In fact, according to the EU Parlemeter published in December 2023, 79 percent of Finns consider EU membership a good thing.

The EU is the world’s third power center

There is certainly room for improvement in the EU, and we have to take our responsibility in developing the Union. When Finland votes in the European elections on 9 June, there is a lot at stake in many ways.

The international political situation is changing strongly. China and the USA are increasingly competing with each other. Russia and its gang cause danger to neighbouring countries with their irrational actions. Global environmental and climate challenges are still there. Europe has leaned on Washington in many matters, but the US political system has been showing uncertainty for several election periods, and this is also felt in NATO.

Only EU and the leading European democracies can fill the vacuum in Europe.

This means that Finland’s 15 MEPs can have an even stronger impact on the issues that citizens consider the most important. According to the Parlemeter, these include EU defense and security, democracy and the rule of law, and the fight against climate change.

We need top-class Finnish candidates for the EU elections. Experienced politicians, popular new faces and the best experts in various fields. People with international operational and networking skills and the support of their party from home.

Both candidates, MEPs and parties must build up the appreciation of the EU elections and the work of the EU Parliament.

Alpo Räinä

Mailand works in European Commission projects that, for example, build connection between local decision-makers and citizens to the European Union.