MP Talk

  • School bullying is a crime

    School bullying has provoked a lot of debate, even around Parliament. The issue is serious for many reasons – so serious that the word ‘bullying’ seems insufficient.

    School bullying fits the description of many crimes, including assault (physical and mental), coercion, theft, malicious damage, defamation, stalking and sexual harassment. If an adult committed similar acts at the workplace, the perpetrator would be fired.

  • Smoke around the bridges

    Politics is a battle of ideas. On a rhetorical level it can be very black and white. But in the end, it always comes down to agreeing, meddling, approaching each other, and striking deals. Most Finns – well, I would even say a huge part of the world – have been watching the endless vote counting going on the other side of the Atlantic. As of Sunday, it is clear that Joe Biden will be the next president in the United States, unless some strange court case turns everything around.

  • Stronger together

    We sometimes say that the “municipal party” is the largest party in Finnish Parliament. As many as 86 percent of MPs are also local council representatives in their own municipality. This is not the case in all countries. The dual role of some MPs across the national and local levels can sometimes be seen as contradictory. For example,

  • The Åland Islands has tackled the Covid-19 virus well, but the side-effects on the economy are devastating

    The financial crises ten years ago left the Åland Islands almost unscattered even though it impacted the economy. However, it was a small summer breeze compare with the winter storm Covid-19 has become for the economy. The Åland Islands’ economy is very dependent on both passenger shipping and tourism, two industries that have been impacted very severely by the crisis.

  • The EU debate we have and the one we need

    The European Union is facing historical challenges and making historical decisions. The time calls for analytical and open discussion with a European view, but this far the perspective here has been somewhat narrow.

  • The euro: a success story?

    When Finland joined the European Union in 1995, it was mainly a community of Western European countries. With the accession to the European Union, we hoped for security, economic benefits as well as Finland's conclusive integration into the western community of values. Subsequently, many Eastern European countries have joined the Union, and we saw the introduction of a single currency: the euro. From the Nordic countries, Finland was the only country to adopt the new currency. 

  • The Parliament of Finland – a House of Traditions

    In times of hardship, traditions are perhaps more valuable than ever. They offer us a sense of safety, normality and continuity, a solid rock to cling to. They bring a flicker of hope, joy and light when the world we used to know seems to be in a distressed state.

  • This is not the last crisis

    Covid-19 has impacted our lives deeply. Some have got sick or died and many of us are concerned for the health of our own and our close ones. Social distancing has impacted our relationships, mental health, the way we work and the way we spend our time. Economic crises has left many unemployed and worried about their families' income.

  • Time to think again?

    In March 2020 the Committee for the Future commissioned experts in various fields to provide reports on the positive and negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having lived with the pandemic for more than a year, it is now a good time to look at some of the main findings and ideas of the reports.

  • Towards stronger global security co-operation

    The global security environment has been changing rapidly during the past decades. Climate change, the rise of terrorism, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other forces, have substantially shaped our current state of security. These recent changes in global security and stability also affect Finland’s own security environment.

  • Upholding the rule of law promotes recovery

    We are living in the midst of a serious international crisis hitting our European continent. It is not yet known what the consequences of the crisis will be on our economy and on people’s well-being. The strength of the second wave will affect it significantly. How and on what principles the virus and the economic recession caused by the crisis are tackled by politics, is a key question.

  • Vaasa accelerating beyond Paris

    Last time I had the honour of writing a column in Helsinki Times I described the Nordic Energy Capital -  Vaasa - which is also my hometown. This was in the beginning of August 2017. Since that a lot has happened. One major investment now under physical construction is the 200 MEUR Wärtsilä Smart Technology Hub which lets people from around the globe take part in creating innovations that enable sustainable societies. Besides being a place for state-of-the-art production, the Hub is also a place for top-notch research, development and engineering.

  • We need good end-of-life care, not euthanasia

    I was relieved when in 2018 MPs in Finland rejected a draft bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide by a vote of 128 to 60. Instead, the Parliament preferred to support the Social Affairs and Health Committee’s recommendation to create a working group to improve palliative care. The Christian Democrats have worked really hard to prevent the legalization of euthanasia, which for the doctor means a duty to kill the patient.

  • What is sustainable migration?

    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.

  • What is sustainable migration?

    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. The only ones still clinging to the politically correct past are the so-called “anointed”, as Thomas Sowell calls them, whose dogmatic worldview is immune to all evidence.

  • World's Happiest Place Needs Foreign Talents

    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.

  • Year of the Black Swans

    Last April I implemented the only election promise which I had given in the last parliamentary elections. In spring 2019 I promised my daughters, that if I were elected to the Parliament, I would take them to the Harry Potter studio in London. I had given up on this a year ago. In those few moments when we had spent common time with my daughters, we had listened to Harry Potter – audiobooks.

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