The Europe Forum form is implemented in heath safe manner in Turku – science, economy and politics provoke discussion in the midst of a pandemic

The Europe Forum, launching autumn political debate, will be implemented in the form of a hybrid event between 25 and 27 August 2021 in Turku. Organised for the fourth time this year, the Forum will consist of approximately 30 interesting programme numbers in the fields of science, economics and politics. Discussions and seminars representing a high standard will focus on various topics including the means of information influence, green transition, the EU’s competitiveness and Finland’s fighter procurement. The general public can participate in the events online on the event’s platform.

Health safety at the Europe Forum will be ensured by limiting the number of people participating in the event, by practising social distancing, by enhancing cleaning and by introducing hygiene guidelines. The event requires the use of face masks.

–  As last year, physical participation in the Europe Forum events will be through invitation by the event organisers; these events will be videoed and broadcast to citizens over the network. On the virtual event page, citizens can follow live broadcasts in real time and participate in Europe Forum discussions, says Anders Blom, Professor of Practise and chairman of Eurooppa-Foorumi Turussa ry.

The main venues of the Europe Forum are the Turku City Theatre lobby, the Radisson Blu Marina Palace hotel, the Turku Office Building and the Europe Forum’s own virtual event platform. Speakers at the Turku event include ministers, MEPs and top experts in science, economics and politics.

The opening date of the event, Wednesday 25 August, will be dedicated to science

Under the leadership of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi, discussions on artificial intelligence, vaccines and information bubbles will be held in the programme sections of the Europe Forum Science Day.

The chairman of the multidisciplinary panel discussion on artificial intelligence, conducted in Finnish, will be Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Turku, Professor  Tapio Salakoski, the other experts being  Elina Kontio, Senior Lecturer of Health Technology at the University of Turku University of Applied Sciences,  Johan Lilius, Professor of Information Technology at Åbo Akademi,  Anna-Greta Nyström, Senior Lecturer of Business Economics at Åbo Akademi, and  Mika Viljanen, Associate Professor of Private Law at the University of Turku.

The panel discussion on vaccines and information bubbles will address, for example, the dangers that the spreading of misinformation through social media and over the network may pose. Professor, researcher and Head of the National PET Centre Juhani Knuuti, Professor of Political Science and Political Communication Kim Strandberg, doctoral student Kristiina Makkonen, Docent Anna Soveri and research assistant Rasmus Sirén will participate in the discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Mikael Lindfelt, Vice President of Åbo Akademi.

At the Europe Forum science seminar, information influencing will be discussed by Docent Erkki Tuuomioja (Dr.Pol.Sc.), with the other participants including Teija Tiilikainen, Director of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Veera Heinonen, Director of Sitra, Johanna Friman (LL.D.) and Tuomo Yli-Huttula, Chairman of Edunvalvontafoorumi.

The quality and direction of the Finnish debate on Europe will be discussed with support from the Association of Editors (PTY). The participants will include Minna Holopainen, editor-in-chief of STT, Arno Ahosniemi, editor-in-chief of Kauppalehti, Erja Yläjärvi, editor-in-chief of Hufvudstadsbladet, Jouko Jokinen, editor of Yle news, and Kari Vainio, editor-in-chief of Turun Sanomat.

The HX project, under which the fighters of the Finnish Air Force will be replaced with new ones by 2025, will also be discussed at the seminar.

On Thursday 26 August, financial matters will receive the focus

The economic day organised by Turku Science Park Oy, the Turku region development company, will address the economy, markets and the development of the EU from the Finnish perspective in a situation in which the corona crisis has continued for a year and a half.

In her speech, Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for the International Partnerships, will examine developments in the economy, fair operational conditions of businesses, citizens’ opportunities to influence and the developments regarding the environment and democracy after the pandemic.

Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the European Commission, will address Europe’s competitiveness, trade relations and economic growth.

Vesa Vihriälä, Professor of Practise, will examine the European economic policy and its options after the recovery fund and the decisions that the Finnish Government need to make at the budget discussion at the beginning of September and, on the other hand, the labour market parties in collective bargaining.

The major panel discussion on the economic day will focus on the opportunities available for Europe and Finland, especially from the perspective of the green transition. Ilze Juhansone, Secretary General of the European Commission, Leena Mörttinen, Permanent State Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Pekka Tiitinen, Managing Director of ABB Oy, Miriam Holstein, Managing Director of Bayer Nordic and Ari Kaperi, Country Director of Nordea Bank Corporation will participate in the discussion. Emilia Kullas, Managing Director of EVA, the Finnish Business and Policy Forum, will host and moderate the event.

Friday 27 August will focus on politics

The autumn season in politics will begin in Turku this year, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Marin will discuss with MP Petteri Orpo over the situation in Europe at the Europe Forum.

The “My Europe” speech, given under the name of Timeout Foundation, directed at young listeners, will be given by the Minister of Education Li Andersson. Andersson will also participate in a discussion with students, facilitated by Laura Arikka, Managing Director of the Timeout Foundation. Educational institutions have been invited to participate in the event over a live stream (

The Friday programme will also include a public hearing of the Grand Committee of the Parliament. At the event, MPs Eveliina Heinäluoma, Jani Mäkelä, Elina Valtonen and Jouni Ovaska, who participate in the plenary meetings of the European Conference on the Future, will report on their work to the Grand Committee of the Parliament. In addition to them, the Grand Committee will hear the Finnish Citizens’ Representative in the Conference on the Future, citizen influencer Ninni Norra. The event will be chaired by Satu Hassi, Chairman of the Grand Committee.

>> For the entire forum programme and speakers of the Forum, see:
>> The virtual event page