The crisis which started over a year ago helped us to learn a lot about ourselves but also about our friends and allies. The pandemic took us all by surprise and after the grim photos from northern Italy we all were shocked.
Finland and Finns are becoming more international. English is the general language of science and international interaction. At the end of 2019, almost one in ten (9.1%) of all Finnish children had a foreign background. The proportion of children with a foreign background has grown steadily since the 1980s.
In March, we celebrate both Womens’ Day (March 8) as well as Minna Canth’s Day, which is also the Day of Equality (March 19). These days are important reminders of the work done and how far we’ve come in terms of gender equality – but also of the work ahead of us.
The Finns Party has a questionable reputation as a party that opposes immigration. However, such a perspective is often exaggerated and is an image that outsiders seek to convey about the party. Truth can rarely be reduced to such a one-dimensional view, as is the case here. There are many types of immigration and most forms of it are acceptable to the Finns Party. There are many types of immigration and not all immigration should be bundled together.
The Covid crisis doesn’t treat people equally. We all feel the disadvantage of the restrictions, closing of public spaces and the lack of services. But certain groups suffer even more than others. Especially children and young people, some of whom have been at home schools for over a year, experience the effects of the worldwide pandemic in a tragic way.
The Finnish government has published it’s new ambitious Circular Economy Programme. This is the first time Finland sets a concrete target to restrict the consumption of natural resources. Our goal is that the total consumption of domestic primary raw materials in 2035 will not exceed the 2015 level.
The taxation on driving is unfair in Finland. Drivers pay car tax, vehicle tax, fuel tax, propulsion tax and even insurance premium tax, for traffic insurance is a compulsory purchase for car owners. On top of all this, there is the value-added tax of cars and fuel.
Finland was chosen as the happiest place to live according to UN’s World Happiness Report 2021. Fort the fourth time in a row, Finland received top marks. All Nordic countries were among the top eight countries. The Nordic way of life and a high level of welfare have become even more important during the COVID-19 crisis. For many people right now, Finland could be desirable place to live.
Democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights; these are the common fundamental values of the European Union. In order to be able to speak credibly for these values in the future, the Union must also commit to defend and uphold them as part of its own policies. Promoting these values will strengthen the unity, acceptability and credibility of the Union and the trust between Member States.
Nowadays free speech is enshrined in international declarations and national constitution. It is the right of those who live in democratic societies and the aspiration of those who do not have this privilege. In a free society, everyone should have the courage and freedom to share their deeply held beliefs without fear of censorship or suppression. The rise of “cancel culture”, the idea of publicly defaming and thrusting a person who holds certain beliefs out of social media or professional circles, is a threat to a free society that claims to be tolerant and equal.
How much outwards can you move your walls before your roof collapses? Should the driving force of a party be an ideal, a shared group of values, or is it primarily a tool for executing power, whatever the cost?
No, there has to be a shared view of society, of humanity. There has to be a shared set of values.