The extensive and diversified programme of the large EU-themed Europe Forum Turku in August-September is now available. Hundreds of top influencers from Finland and other areas within the EU will be attending the event. The event is open and free, and it is for everyone interested in the European Union.

Europe Forum Turku will take place in Turku on 30 Aug–1 Sep 2018

Europe Forum Turku consists of seminars, panel discussions, question times, and civil dialogue.

The locations for the event are Hansakortteli (Hansa Block), Åbo Svenska Teater (the Swedish speaking theatre in Turku), Radisson SAS Marina Palace, Turku Main Library, and Panimoravintola Koulu (Brewery Restaurant School).

The Programme will still have additions, and some of the discussions may partly change. The event is free and open for everyone. 

Additional information and Programme: 

The event can be found on social media by the hashtags #eurooppafoorumi #europeforum #turku

– I am very pleased that the Europe Forum is organised specifically in Turku where we have excellent facilities for the event and the history of being the home for Finnish Europe discussion. I hope that in this first Europe Forum, we will be able to cultivate viewpoints for public civil dialogue, particularly, says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

In Europe Forum Turku, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will give an overview on Europe policy, and on Friday 31 Aug, hears citizens’ opinions on the development of the EU. Minister for European Affairs Sampo Terho also has a question time on Friday 31 Aug, with the topic of Brexit, reforming the EU and stregthening the role of the citizens in EU decision-making. On Saturday 1 Sep, Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen will be leading open civil dialogue for everyone interested in the values and future of the European Union. 

Three days of civil dialogue

Europe Forum Turku will be held in several locations in Turku City Centre from Thursday 30 Aug to Saturday 1 Sep. The event provides a forum for discussion between Finnish influencers and citizens about Finland’s role in Europe and the European Union. This will be the first time for Europe Forum Turku to take place, and it will become an annual opening of the autumn season of politics and economy in Finland.

Among the most significant events during Europe Forum Turku is a Public Consultation of the Grand Committee of the Parliament, where Finland’s future EU policy will be reflected on. As another event, Ministry of the Interior will be leading extensive discussion on security, ideological violence, and related future directions. Furthermore, the Ministry and URMI research project will collectively facilitate an in-depth discussion session about the effect of immigration on our cities.  

Discussion paper searching for solutions

For Europe Forum Turku, the University of Turku Centre for Parliamentary Studies is preparing an extensive discussion paper about Finland’s EU policy. It will be published before the event in August. The idea of the discussion paper is to direct the discussions towards the themes of most importance at the moment, equally relative to the whole EU and Finland’s Europe policy.

–The union is simultaneously having to solve several major challenges with no existing simple solutions. Courageous openings and open-minded reflection are required from the member states because the need for discussion on Europe’s future has never been more acute. For our part, our discussion paper is aimed at helping Finland to take an active, solution-oriented role in this historical situation, explains Director of University of Turku Centre for Parliamentary Studies Markku Jokisipilä.

Being a prominent student city, Turku has invited the freshers that start their studies during the week of the event and the students’ unions to join the discussion.

Result of extensive preparations

The Europe Forum is organised and the discussions attended by City of Turku, University of Turku, Turku University Foundation, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo Akademi University Foundation, Regional Council of Southwest Finland, Turku Science Park, Turku Chamber of Commerce, and Schuman Society. These actors form the Europe Group Turku with Doctor of Political Science Anders Blom as the Chair. Discussions in Europe Forum Turku are also arranged by Parliament, Prime Minister’s Office, Representation of Finland to the European Commission, European Parliament Information Office Finland, Bank of Finland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Europe Information, Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK), The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava), and Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).

–The event has been prepared on a large scale for around a year. All organisers share the same objective: when the futures of Finland and the union are being planned, a need arises for an inclusive and plural national discussion forum, says the event’s Project Manager Tuomas Nirkkonen.