Why am I running for the European Parliament?

The 2024 European Parliament elections will be held under exceptional circumstances. The EU is the longest-lived and most successful peace project in world history. Still, at the moment there is more war in Europe than at any time since the Second World War.

Finland has been part of the European Union for almost three decades. The first 30 years made Finland safer, more stable and more prosperous than ever. All the more reason – now that many things in the world are changing at an accelerating pace – it is worth asking where Finland and Europe will be in 30 years.

"The EU is not over there somewhere. We are the EU."

Every candidate wants to do good. There is less disagreement about the goals, but there are differences in the means.

"I'm conservative enough that I believe the world will improve with economic growth." "I'm liberal enough that I believe that economic growth belongs to all of us fairly."

Fair economic growth means that, first of all, we have resources to use. Secondly, resources must be used fairly. It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of work.

At this pace, Europe will fall behind first China, then India and finally the entire global south in terms of development. That's why you have to dare to look further, both temporally and geographically.

Where will we be in 30 years?

The war has united Europe, but at the same time the union is also suffering and cooperation with some countries is fraying. The coming European Parliament term is full of challenges, but in addition to putting out fires, we have to look further.

What would it mean for Finland's economic growth and Europe's prosperity if we were to conclude a free trade agreement with the United States? What if, in the next few years, we could attract, say, a million young Americans a year to work in Europe?

"We have to dare to think bolder than before."

However, economic growth in itself is not enough. It is a tool, not an absolute value.

Fair economic growth means that we invest more money in early childhood education and training, social and health services, mental health services and elderly services that secure a valuable life.

"Without economic growth, there is nothing to share fairly."

You can't escape the facts. We can either deny the facts or react to them. Problems can even be turned into strengths. Climate change is a huge crisis for the earth, but its solution can create a lot of new good for all of humanity.

"The green transition is a great opportunity for Finland - but only if we seize it."

The green transition, when implemented correctly, is a model example of fair economic growth. By making the right solutions now, we will get environmentally sustainable industrial investments in Finland in the future as well. The question is how we can produce enough clean energy for the needs of the future and at the same time moderate climate change. That is, how to achieve a better standard of living for all of us and at the same time keep the planet viable.

"There is nothing fairer than keeping the Earth habitable for all of us."

In a nutshell: the pragmatist in me knows that society cannot run without a healthy economy. The humanist in me believes that the good produced by the economy must be distributed fairly. Values and economy are not either-or but both-and.

Economic growth that is empathetic, humane and believes in the future.

That is why I'm running for the European Parliament.