Elections in Finland: Between happiness and the Russo-Ukrainian war

Campaign Themes: What do voters care about?
Veera Luoma-ahojournalist, Head of the Department of Politics, Business and Economy, at Helsingin Sanomat, the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries.

War in Ukraine, Security, NATO
Iro Särkkä, expert in Finnish foreign and security policy, NATO, Nordic security, and defence co-operation. Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

The happiest nation in the world, according to the recently released World Happiness Report 2023, holds elections on 2 April 2023. The current 5-party coalition is not expected to continue, but the new government will also be a coalition. The Social Democrats, of the current Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the liberal National Coalition Party and the anti-immigration Finns Party are competing for the premiership.
The campaign focuses on domestic issues. However, the war in Ukraine cannot be ignored: political parties from across the political spectrum support NATO membership. The membership may materialise in the coming summer. Currently, Finland is constructing a 3-meter-high fence, with barbed wire on the top, along one part of its border with Russia.

The seminar will address both domestic and security issues. Does Finland fear the spillover of the war? How does the war affect the elections?

Concept and Moderation
Mirjana Tomić, fjum/Presseclub Concordia and Ivan Vejvoda, Director of Europe’s Futures-Ideas for Action program (IWM)

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