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Our modern day lives have largely shifted to networks, and the criminals have done the same. Facebook, Momio, Tiktok, Brawl Stars etc. are part of our children’s everyday life, but many of us parents don’t know them at all. Online interaction is different from face to face interaction, because in the online world you can also operate anonymously. It is a different world where everything is not what it looks like, which we must not forget.

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This autumn is filled with work in Parliament. We are busy renewing laws, from mining to taxis, from waste to the duration of compulsory education. Alongside this, we take steps towards sustainability and equality and handle the COVID situation in a responsible way, taking into consideration both health and economics.

The Government budget proposal means that reforms and investments proceed despite the crisis. In a normal situation, net borrowing of billions of euros couldn´t be justified.

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EVERY TIME I travel to other countries, I love to see fair, foreign people who work and take care of me; a foreigner for them. I relax when I see their commitment to local habits and culture they maintain from childhood to adulthood. I will do my best to be honest and open-minded to them as well.

Finland has been a safe and neutral meeting point between the east and west.

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MIGRATION IS UNDENIABLY the most crucial issue in Europe. Recently, the political focus has been on the battle against COVID-19, but the long term challenge remains the same: migration in the 21st century. 

Problems used to be pejoratively dismissed as prejudices, but are now discussed openly in the streets, parliaments and academia.

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Nationalism is a relatively young ideology dating from the 18th century. Before its rise states were not defined primarily by nations but by their sovereign rulers following the principles established in the Treaty of Westphalen in 1648. 

States in the Westphalian system were mostly multinational, multiethnic, multilingual and multireligious entities. Nationalities were often divided into subjects of many different rulers, as were Germans and Italians. 

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Setting a zero-tolerance policy on bullying in public speeches is not enough. Concrete action and sufficient resources are needed to prevent bullying.

In September, a pupil was subjected to brutal violence at the Kytöpuisto school in Vantaa. Helsingin Uutiset, in turn, wrote about a case where an eighth-grade boy was threatened with violence at recess and the incident was uploaded to social media. The cases are shocking and demonstrate a failure to guarantee school safety in practice.

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MP and deputy speaker of the Finnish Parliament Antti Rinne / Lehtikuva

Finland’s representative democracy has played an important role during our first one hundred years of independence. Strong and tried-and-tested state institutions have provided stability and confidence in political decision making—in times of war and peace. During the Second World War in Europe, only the parliaments of Finland and Britain continued to function without interruption throughout the war years.

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Finland has traditionally had strong freedom of speech and opinion. We are used to seeing these rights as self-evident, part of a democratic state governed by the rule of law. However, lately there have been repeated cases, both in the media and even in the work of public authorities, which have sparked further debate on the state of freedom of expression.

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