The recent videos coming from The United States Capitol in Washington evoke memories of images from history books; the French or Russian revolution, when the mob storm the dwellings of power, and desecrate its symbols. The big difference is that the intrusion now happened in one of the world’s oldest democracies, and it was called for by a president who, to the very end, has refused to secede power.
These days Iran honors the fallen hero, Martyr Major General Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the Quds Force, an official branch of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran – and his companions, who were assassinated on the third of January 2020 at Baghdad International Airport.
For every Iranian and even those outside of Iran in countries who have suffered from terrorism, the name of General Soleimani signifies unmatched bravery, and selfless sacrifice against terrorism.
Tourism is one of the worst affected industries by the pandemic. The flow of travellers has practically stopped and numerous entrepreneurs and employees are facing unprecedented financial challenges or even collapse. The travel industry employs some 140,000 people in Finland of which more than a third in the Uusimaa region.
The European union is a union of shared values. These values cannot be compromised or brushed aside, because they represent the very foundation upon which our union is built. The EU's founding values are human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
When I came to Finland, I had a ToDo list in my mind that I wanted to learn here. And one of them was riding a bicycle.
I used to ride one while growing up, with training wheels attached to it. Everyone thought that I would eventually find my balance and manage without that support. I did not. As in life, I should carry over the plan when I could not succeed. I did not try hard enough.
Those who think that the drama in The United States ends January 20, 2021 are probably mistaken. When President Biden takes over, a four-year trial period is initiated for the American democracy, and the result determines if the United States has matured or if Trumpism has come to stay.
It is sad to have to keep this threat in mind now that we can rejoice that the presidency at least is occupied by a sensible person for the coming four years.
When asked about racism towards foreigners in Finland, Finns answer in a culturally approved script: “We Finns are not racist”; “If there is racism in Finland it is not as bad as it is in other countries” and; “Racism is the fault of the foreigners who move to Finland with unrealistic expectations.” Such dismissals require wilful ethnic blindness to racism, which is banal and rife in Finland. When compared with other European countries, racism in Finland is more recent, but the point about foreigners arriving there with unrealistic expectations about racism is not something that we can entirely attribute to Finns.
I am in Finland for the year working as a researcher at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. Last summer, back home in Canada, I downloaded an app so I could learn some basic Finnish phrases. It must have been a strange sight for my neighbors to see me gardening with my headphones on while pronouncing Finnish words and phrases out loud—especially since the language sounds so foreign.
Linking European Union funds to the respect of the rule of law is in the interests of all Europeans ‒ left, right or centre, net contributor or net beneficiary, East, West, North or South.
The EU’s new rule of law mechanism ‒ the decision to link EU funds to the respect of EU values ‒ is a significant achievement many of us in the European Parliament have worked for. Our political group Renew Europe was on the forefront of this fight.
President Juho Kustaa Paasikivi was born 150 years ago. On Friday, November 27, the birthday was celebrated with a solemn event on the internet. Without a doubt, Paasikivi belongs to the prominent figures of Finnish history. He has had a great influence on our eastern politics, on principles, and Modus Operandi in our relations with Russia.