As Europe faces inflation and increasing energy prices, citizens expect strong leadership and decisive decisions. Welcoming the Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin to the European Parliament for a This is Europe debate, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said that Finland can play a central role in shaping the future of a more resilient, more united, Europe.
© European Union | The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and the Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin
We have with us today, the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin.
Dear Prime Minister, Dear Sanna, thank you for accepting our invitation to address the Parliament and the people of Europe as part of our “This is Europe” series of debates.
The world around us is changing faster than many thought possible. Many of us would never have imagined that Europe would again experience war on its doorstep. And on February 24th, when President Putin’s tanks rolled into independent and sovereign Ukraine, many of us would never have imagined that Russia’s aggression would last over 200 days.
The warning signs were there. We saw what happened in Crimea, what they did to Navalny, how they tried to crush democracy in Belarus, the targeted threats against Finland - the EU country with the longest border with Russia.
Now is the time to respond. To stand up for the values that give Europe its sustainable advantage. And in doing so, we must be ready to adapt to the changing geopolitical realities.
Right now people are worried about the soaring prices of gas and electricity. There are things that we can do together - even temporarily - to limit the impact while we implement long-term strategies. We can no longer afford to depend on undependable actors.
And to face our real, shared security challenges, work must start immediately to build a real security and defence Union. Here, I would like to welcome Finland’s historic decision to join NATO. We know Finland has been a long-time NATO partner, and will be a key security contributor in Northern Europe and in the Baltic Sea area.
The ramping up of efforts will come at a cost. But if ever there was a moment for ‘more Europe’, it is here and it is now.
Tomorrow, the European Parliament will host the President of the European Commission for the State of the European Union debate, where we will have an opportunity to speak about these reforms. My hope is to see Finland play a central role in shaping the future of a more resilient, more united, Europe.
Dear Prime Minister, dear Sanna, the floor is yours.
The President's speech in Finnish can be found here.