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Ahead of NATO Summit, S&Ds go to Helsinki to express support for Finnish and Swedish NATO membership


23 Jun 2022



In the run up to the NATO Summit in Madrid on 29/30 June 2022, the S&D Bureau, led by the Group President Iratxe García Pérez, will travel to Helsinki early next week to express their strong support for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. The S&D representatives will be there on Monday and Tuesday, 27/28 June 2022, and hold various meetings with leading Finnish politicians around key policy issues, including security and defence, consequences of the war in Ukraine, sustainability and the future of the EU. Among others, the S&Ds will meet with Timo Harakka, Minister for Transport and Communications; Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister of European Affairs, and Annika Saarikko, Minister of Finance. The visit will end with a meeting with the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin.  

Commenting on the upcoming Bureau visit, S&D President Iratxe García Pérez, said:

“Ahead of NATO’s historic summit in Madrid, we want to be in Helsinki to send a strong message of support for the new membership of Finland and Sweden. The Atlantic Alliance is still the bedrock of security for EU Member States and we must strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the EU to face new challenges. 

“Together we must redefine our strategic priorities for the next decade, and we do it in a very difficult context. The brutal and unprovoked war by Putin against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is a threat to our peaceful project for integration. All European countries must be free to choose their fate and the only goal of Europe’s security and defence policy is to protect our freedom and our democracies, and to preserve peace. This is why we S&Ds want the EU to become a stronger global player: to reinforce international law, multilateralism and a rules-based international order as the only guarantees for peace.” 

Eero Heinäluoma, S&D Treasurer added: 

"The timely visit of the S&D Group leadership to Helsinki is a strong expression of solidarity towards Finland and Sweden as they seek membership in NATO. The themes of the visit – security and defence, sustainability, the social and economic consequences of Russia's war on Ukraine – are fundamental for citizens in Finland and across Europe. As the latest Eurobarometer shows, citizens in Finland are among the most positive towards the EU.

“At the same time, we hope this visit can serve as an opportunity for our European colleagues to further familiarise themselves with Finland and understand the specialities of Northern European Member States in promoting the Green Deal objectives.”




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