The Europe Forum is being held in Turku for the third time from 27 to 28 August 2020 with more than 30 civic organisations and public bodies. Through a live stream, the Europe Forum will reach all citizens who want to watch the event programme and participate in it by asking questions and commenting. The discussions can be accessed free of charge at www.europeforum.fi/en.

The guidelines issued by the authorities regarding large events will be followed strictly on location with regard to restricted participation in the forum by ensuring safe distances and providing the participants with masks and the necessary products for ensuring good hygiene.

This year, the event is focused around Finland’s 25-year membership in the EU, the Green Deal and foreign policy as well as NGOs and young people. At this two-day opening event of the political season in Finland, decision-makers and the public will participate in high-class discussions that will feature speakers such as European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen

The Europe Forum is a national discussion forum arising from cooperation between NGOs and the public authorities, in which anyone can participate in discussions with politicians, decision-makers and experts.

 ‘Despite the exceptional circumstances this year, we will once again create an event with strong content in a situation in which discourse on Europe is more topical than ever. This time, we will focus on NGOs and young people in particular, for which I’m particularly happy. Come listen and discuss matters online, you can even do so from your own couch!’ Mayor of Turku Minna Arve urges.

EU Youth Conference and MEP panel discussion

Over the two days, the programme provided by youth organisations will address topics such as the global role of the EU and the EU’s relationships with China and Africa. European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will also participate in the EU Youth Conference and the review of its results. Additionally, the programme will feature a working life event that offers an opportunity to meet EU professionals. The organisers of the different events are the Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi, JEF Finland, JEF Turku and European Youth Parliament Finland.

The Baltic Sea meets the Green Deal

On the economy and science day of Europe Forum Turku on Thursday 27 August, the forum will examine the impacts of the Green Deal as well as the state of the Baltic Sea and the challenges in the region in particular. Thursday’s programme will also feature discussion on the health cluster of Turku as the engine of European research, safe information networks at the heart of sustainable digital growth as well as fast fashion and the EU’s role in promoting corporate social responsibility.

On Thursday Ambassador for Germany to Finland Konrad Arz von Straussenburg opens panel disucssion on The Baltic Sea and the European Union climate policy. The speakers discussing topics related to the Baltic Sea will include MEP Ville Niinistö, Assistant Professor Anna Törnroos-Remes from Åbo Akademi, Principal Administrator of the European Commission’s DG Clima Ismo Ulvila, Magnus Gustafsson (PhD) from Åbo Akademi, Assistant Professor Tomi Solakivi from the University of Turku, Secretary General of the Finnish Marine Industries Elina Andersson, Professor Henrik Ringbom from the University of Turku/Åbo Akademi and MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen.

The individuals who will be speaking and discussing in the programme segments on the economy and science day include MEPs Ville Niinistö, Elsi Katainen, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mauri Pekkarinen and Henna Virkkunen, Chair of the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) Juha Marttila, Professor of Practice Vesa Vihriälä, Chair of European Movement Finland Ville Kaunisto, Managing Director of the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce Jan Feller, Managing Director of Finance Finland Piia-Noora Kauppi, CEO of Technology Industries of Finland Jaakko Hirvola, CEO of DNA Jukka Leinonen, British Ambassador to Finland Tom Dodd, State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen, Finnish Climate Ambassador Jan Wahlberg and Director of the European Forest Institute Marc Palahí, among others.

At the end of Thursday, the participants will orient themselves for Friday’s politics-themed day through a discussion moderated by Programme Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Juha Jokela about the relationship of Finland, Sweden and Austria, which joined the European Union in 1995, with the European Union in the future. The speakers in the panel will include Austrian Ambassador to Finland Maximilian Hennig, Director of SIEPS Göran von Sydow and researcher Saila Heinikoski from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.
 

Where are the EU and Finland heading?

Politics and science will meet on Friday 28 August, when the programme will particularly examine Finland’s 25-year journey in the EU and also look towards the future: what kind of Europe does Finland want?

Other topics of discussion will include democracy, decision-making and unity under emergency conditions; European defence cooperation; immigration policy; challenges in the relations between Finland, the EU and Russia; and cities in post-coronavirus Europe.

In this debate, European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will be exchanging thoughts with former European Commissioners Jyrki Katainen and Erkki Liikanen. On Friday, labour market organisations will be discussing Finland’s next 25-year period in the EU, led by President of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) Jarkko Eloranta, Chairman of the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) Antti Palola, Director of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) Petri Vuorio and Director of the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava) Pekka Piispanen. Friday’s generational ‘25-year debate about Finland and Europe’ by European Movement Finland will feature Chair of the Grand Committee Satu Hassi and MEP Elina Lepomäki.

The participants in the seminar ‘Wealth and stability – Europe-politics as a part of Finland's foreign and security politics’ will include Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen, European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen, MEP Alviina Alametsä, Chair of JEF Finland Iiris Asunmaa, Director General of the European Union Military Staff Esa Pulkkinen, Director Mika Aaltola, Director-General for Defence Industry and Space Timo Pesonen as well as MEPs Ilkka Kanerva, Mika Niikko and Erkki Tuomioja, among others. The seminar will be opened by Minister Pertti Salolainen. EU correspondent for YLE Susanna Turunen will host the seminar.

Come and join us in discussing the future of Europe!

The Europe Forum’s programme will be streamed free of charge via the Europe Forum mobile application and event page www.europeforum.fi/en. People can participate in the programme by commenting and asking questions via the mobile application, event page and Twitter. The discussions will be recorded, and you can watch them later via YouTube, among other places.

With regard to those who will be participating in the planning and implementation of the forum on site, the forum will adhere to the instructions issued and participant limits imposed by the Finnish Government, ensuring safe distances and hygiene. The guidelines will be specified if needed, according to the situation.

Make your way to the future of Europe and come and join us in Europe Forum Turku on 27 and 28 August 2020 at www.europeforum.fi/en!