Ambassador's greeting on Europe day 2020
Ambassador Vesa Vasara: The basic stance of Finland's EU policy has always been to promote European values, sustainable growth, stability and security in Europe.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Finland's accession to the European Union after a referendum and with a rather narrow majority. Since then the support for membership has increased over the years.
When Finland joined the EU in January 1995 the Union was half the size of what it is today. The euro did not exist yet as a currency. From the very start the philosophy was: in for a penny, in for a pound. No opt-outs, no reservations. Preferably to the core of the Union.
Our European horizon was mostly without a cloud. Problems yes, but nothing that one would be unable to solve. For us the decision to join the EU was above all a security political decision. We wanted to anchor the country permanently to a Union of democratic, open market economies that respect the rule of law, democracy and human rights. And above all: Finns understood then, and still understand now that the EU is a peace project! Countries that genuinely cooperate and are well integrated with each other through the EU inner market do not wage war and are less likely to behave from narrow nationalistic point of view.
We may well be critical as to how the Union has performed during covid-19 crisis - and its devastating economic consequences. We can blame it for lack of solidarity and for reacting too slow. When doing so one would be well advised to remember that the Union has survived various crises before and has usually come out of them stronger than before. And often more integrated. This of course does not happen automatically. Constructive and hard work is required from all member states.
Finland is committed to doing its own share. The basic stance of our EU policy has always been to promote European values, sustainable growth, stability and security in Europe.
I wish everyone a happy and peaceful Europe Day 2020!
Ambassador of Finland to Denmark