Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeEuropean UnionFinland: EU policy, immigration, and climate goals hinder government formation

Finland: EU policy, immigration, and climate goals hinder government formation


The dust is settling this weekend on the Finnish election result, which saw Sanna Marin’s left-wing Social Democrats pipped at the post by less than one percentage point by the right-wing National Coalition Party and the far-right populist Finns Party.

But while some Finnish politicians might be taking time over the Easter weekend for holidays, others are working on the next steps to form a new coalition government.

The party which won the elections, the National Coalition Party (or Kokoomus as it’s known locally) sends out questionnaires to the other parties asking for their positions on a range of key issues.

It’s a bit like political speed dating.

“The largest party, the Coalition Party, with its leader Petter Opro composes the key written questions, which are answered by each and every party,” explained Ville Skinnari, the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade in Sanna Marin’s government.

“The ball is now there with the Coalition Party. They emphasise things that they see as important, which we all pretty much know what they are going to ask. And then we, the Social Democrats, we write our reply, it’s as simple as that,” he told Euronews on a Twitter Spaces discussion.

Kokoomus then evaluates the answers on various policy questions from all the responses and figures out which other parties could be most compatible, sharing a similar policy outlook, and where they might have the most common ground.”

Euronews asked the National Coalition Party to participate in our discussion, but they were not able to find a representative to join the event.

After last week’s election, the ‘elephant in the room’ for forming a new government is the role of the populist Finns Party, and whether they are the most likely coalition partners for Kokoomus, or if they might indeed prefer to stay in opposition despite their best-ever election result.

Finns Party leader Riikka Purra said after the first meeting of her new parliamentary group this week that she wants to go into government — but with reservations.

“We strive for a place in the government with all our heart and energy, but not at any cost,” she told reporters.

“The threshold is that harmful immigration to Finland must be significantly tightened,” she said.

It’s this particular issue that other politicians say is particularly problematic for the National Coalition Party if they want to take the Finns Party — but not the only stumbling block.

“It is quite evident to anyone who has followed Finnish politics, that in many fields, we are on the opposite side to the Finns Party. Finland is a natural member of the EU, and the EU is our most important international framework, and the Finns Party strives to get Finland out of the EU” explains Anders Adlercreutz, the parliamentary group leader of the Swedish People’s Party.

He tells Euronews that sticking to Finland’s climate goals, and the need for more immigration, are both roadblocks to constructive cooperation with the Finns Party.

Meanwhile Fatim Diarra, a newly elected Green League MP says her party and the Finns Party have “such a different way of looking at humanity, looking at values, and even our attitude towards the European Union” that it would be difficult to imagine working together in government.

But she says that a lot of Finnish voters gave their trust to the Finns Party, and those people want to see their policies in action.

Source: yahoo

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