I am a teacher and assisting principal at a folk high school focusing on the integration of immigrants into the Finnish society through the Swedish language. For many years I have lived and worked in different European countries and have gathered a long both work and life experience from different international environments. I have worked mainly within the trade and finance business as within educational services. I am married and the mother of three. I am chairperson of the educational board and member of the city council in my hometown Porvoo.
I am very concerned about the tougher attitudes in our society in general and want to work for a more humane and inclusive Europe. The global challenges we face today we can tackle only through constructive cooperation. The cultural and linguistic diversity EU represents demands sensitivity and responsiveness in our interactions, but is at the same time one of the definite strengths of the Union.
Peace and stability through stronger cooperation
EU was created as a peace project in a Europe torn apart by war. In times of increased polarisation and sharper opinions, the significance of this historical fact has become important again. Peace and stability can only be created by increased cooperation, not less. The spread of fear and the dark world view of our future perpetrated by the extreme right movement, is endangering the European cooperation. A cooperation that has given us the opportunity to together create and fortify the safety and welfare we have all been able to benefit from.
The global challenges that we are facing, not least the phenomena of climate change, knows no boundaries. They can only be solved by collective decisions and actions. If we want to enjoy peace and safety in our part of the world, we need to also guarantee a safer environment for everyone on our planet. We need to carry our responsibility for a global sustainability and share our knowhow to guarantee citizens also in other parts of the world a decent life. If not, the impacts will become visible in climatically and economically more vulnerable areas resulting in an increased flow of refugees.
We need to stand up for human rights for everyone, including minorities and those who come to Europe as refugees. I grew up in West Berlin, right next to the wall that divided Europe over the course of many years. This experience I sincerely hope that no one will have to make in the future. Walls and barbed wire are never an answer.
Education, research and innovations
The right to education is a basic right for the individual, but it is also of strong socio-economic interest for a nation. The higher the level of education amongst citizens, the more successful the society is. Every EU citizen should be guaranteed similar opportunities to an education, both in their home country, as well as in other member states. Thanks to collective educational initiatives, such as Erasmus+, students and educational establishments at all levels can cooperate and learn from each other. We need to develop these kinds of collaborations even further and also invest in the continual learning throughout each individual’s life span.
The global challenges that we are facing require significant investments in research and development. This is best achieved by an active collaboration between universities, research institutes and industries, both locally as well as globally. The EU can maintain its competitiveness on the global market only through leading the charge in research and development. It is also a way for the EU to take responsibility and make a lasting positive change.
Trade and economy
The European Union’s single market with free movement of products, services, capital and labour and in which EU citizens can freely live, work, study and perform business is one of the EU’s absolute strengths and advantages. It has significantly encouraged employment, investments and growth as well as increased the trust in European companies. A return to more tariffs and trade barriers would only hurt the Union and its citizens.
Both inside the EU as well as nationally within each member state a functioning and stable economy is a presumption to guarantee the citizens’ welfare and the stability within the Union. The economy in each member state has to be managed responsibly and build on collectively agreed regulations. In cases, where a member state does not follow the regulations the EU should have the sufficient authority to intervene.
We need to remove any unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles in order to enable increased collaboration and growth, without sacrificing the necessary regulatory mechanisms that prevent tax evasion and other activities that can harm the economy of the Union.