If the young adults strolling around Haikon kartano this weekend keep the spirit of Linnaseminaari at heart, and find the much-discussed courage in their daily lives, Finnish public debate on the European Union may soon look rather more visionary than what it is today.
The European elections next year will perhaps be the most interesting ones so far. I’m expecting campaigning on all sides to transcend national borders in a way that it hasn’t before, which is rather in line with the long-term trend of European integration. Maybe Volt will be one force that makes the elections interesting, but first it will have to prove its doubters wrong.
The Commission adopts decisions as a collective and, like any cabinet in a member state, has to be ideologically cohesive for working together to be possible. If in some countries the election is won by a moderate party, and in others by a radical one, the Commission would be doomed to suffer from deep internal divisions.
If we can have a European-wide song contest broadcast to homes across the EU and beyond, surely we can provide the same when our democracy is at stake. For decades already, we have got Eurovision every year, and we have loved it. From next year onwards, it’s time for us to hear about what visions our leaders have for Europe, just every five years.
If after 2019 Europe is no more democratic than what it is now, it’s because national-level parties wanted it that way.
Tapio Raunio: "The media coverage of the EU, especially how the institutions operate on a daily basis, is getting weaker. That’s a contradiction: the institutions themselves are way more powerful than twenty years ago, but there’s arguably less coverage.”
Tapio Raunio: “You have the Eurosceptic parties calling for more powers to the national governments and the intergovernmental institutions, and then you have the more federalist line of argument which emphasises the parliamentary model adopted at the European level. Both are in a way right, there is no objective answer.”