The Europe Forum invites everyone to discuss the future of Europe and Finland on August 24–26

The Europe Forum can be seen and heard again at the end of summer in Turku on August 24-26, 2022. Experts, decision-makers and the public participate in topical discussions at the main event locations and online on the forum’s own virtual event platform at which will be open starting from Monday 22 August. Simultaneous Finnish-English-Finnish interpretation is available for live webcasts. This year the forum also includes the Speakers’ Corner public event at Hansatori.

More than 40 separate organizers with more than 30 program sections are participating in the Europe Forum this year. During the three days, topics such as energy and the green transition, European cooperation and society’s resilience, the EU’s global role especially in the economy, and the changed foreign policy situation both nationally and internationally will be discussed.

— Putin’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine has awakened the whole of Europe to the fact that dependence on Russia for fossil fuels cannot continue. Renewable forms of energy strengthen the energy independence of the entire continent and protect citizens from price fluctuations of fossil energy. People need to be supported in this transition, says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo.

— The Europe Forum offers excellent conditions for discussing the current security policy situation as well. Finland has made historic decisions this year – now is the time to talk about what will change as we move towards NATO membership, says Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen.

In the event that kicks off the Finnish political season, decision-makers, experts and the public participate in high-level discussions. The program has been expanded and new speakers at the forum include Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist, MEPs Alviina Alametsä, Mauri Pekkarinen and Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mika Aaltola, Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and Emilia Kullas, Director of Finnish Business and Policy Forum.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Finland Olga Dibrova will be attending the Europe Forum during the whole event day of 25 August. Ambassador of France to Finland Agnès Cukierman, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Finland Adam Vojtěch and the British Ambassador to Finland Theresa Bubbear will also participate in the forum on site. The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, opens the forum in her video speech on Thursday.

The entire program of the forum with speakers can be found here.

The theme is the position of Finland and the EU as part of the changing international order

The prevailing world situation will also shape tomorrow: the Europe Forum examines the challenges and opportunities of the future from different perspectives alongside current issues affecting Finland and the European Union. The event is structured around daily topics. This year’s theme of the Europe Forum is the position of Finland and the EU as part of the changing international order.

On Wednesday’s science day, August 24., the topics are the tangible promotion of Europe’s green transition and researched information. In addition, on Wednesday, we will delve deeper into current crises and society’s resilience during changes, look at different areas of European cooperation, and discuss the need to reform the Finnish labor market model and the Finnish negotiation and agreement system. The Turku Climate Forum, on the other hand, will turn its attention to tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities from the perspective of climate work.

In the different program sections of Science Day, you can hear the thoughts of, among others, Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen, The Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions Chairman Jarkko Eloranta, University of Turku Rector Jukka Kola, Chairman, Regional Council of Southwest Finland Kari Häkämies and Senior Researcher of The Finnish Institute of International Affairs Saila Heinikoski.

Thursday 25.8. Europe in the world- day will be opened by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. Economic issues are examined from the perspectives of pressing energy issues and the development of international trade and competition. The climate debate will be deepened through the carbon neutrality goals of cities and questions of the fossil economy. Along with economic and climate issues, issues of democracy and human rights in Europe and its neighboring regions also become topics of discussion.

In the program sections of the day, among others, Tuomas Välimäki, Member of the Board of the Bank of Finland, President of Sitra Jyrki Katainen, MEP Heidi Hautala, Professor Emeritus of Economics Sixten Korkman, Mayor of Turku Minna Arve and Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä will be discussing.

Friday 26.8. The Finland in Europe -day will be opened with a keynote speech by Jutta Urpilainen, the EU Commissioner responsible for international partnerships. The discussion about Finland’s position in Europe culminates in the EU political prime ministerial examination of the chairmen of the four parties. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre), Chairman of the Coalition Party Petteri Orpo and Chairman of the Finns Party Riikka Purra discuss the current situation of the EU, the future and the European policy of the future government.

During the day, we will also consider what kind of Russia policy Finland needs in the future. In Åbo Akademi’s Arken Hall, EU affairs are discussed from a regional perspective: led by Doctor of Laws Allan Rosas, there will be a discussion in Swedish about the status of Åland as part of Europe; the interlocutors are, among others, the Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist and the Head of Government in Åland Veronica Thörnroos.

Speakers’ Corner public event at Hansatori 26.8. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

A new part of the Europe Forum this year is the public event Speakers’ Corner, which invites the general public to Turku’s Hansatori to discuss foreign and security policy, energy and the green transition, and the mental health of young people. The program is open to everyone who arrives on the spot, and, like other parts of the forum’s program, it is possible to watch it afterwards as a recording on the YouTube channel of the Europe Forum.

The Speakers’ Corner program is hosted by Markku Jokisipilä, Director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies, and panelists in various program sections include MEPs Alviina Alametsä, Henna Virkkunen, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Nils Torvalds, Sirpa Pietikäinen and Ville Niinistö, as well as Mika Aaltola, Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

The European Year of Youth has a strong presence in the program

The year 2022 is the EU’s youth theme year. Young people are important agents of change and have a decisive role in building peaceful and democratic societies now and in the future. The goal of the theme year is to draw attention to the social participation and well-being of young people, and to create faith and opportunities for the future for young people.

The Europe Forum offers an opportunity and an open platform to learn more about interesting topics, to have a public debate and to increase direct dialogue between young people and decision-makers. The forum includes a program organized by young people and aimed at young people, which discusses e.g. the role of young people in EU decision-making and issues related to young people’s well-being and mental health.

Programs related to the youth theme year at the Europe Forum:

  • Thursday 25.8. at 2 p.m., the foyer of the Turku City Theater, “The role of young people in changing EU decision-making”. Organizer: JEF Turku.
  • Friday 26.8. at 9, the foyer of the Turku City Theatre, “How does the EU affect young entrepreneurs’ images of agriculture?” Organizer: MTK, The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners.
  • Friday 26.8. at 10 a.m., the foyer of the Turku City Theatre, “Young people, values ​​and the EU – Rights and participation of gender and sexual minorities in Europe”. Organizer: Finnish National Agency for Education.
  • Friday 26.8. at 2:30 p.m., Hansatori, “Covid-19, the climate crisis and the war in Ukraine – What is the situation with the mental health of young people in a challenging world situation?”. Organizer: Finnish National Agency of Education.

Come and discuss the future of Europe and Finland!  

The live webcasts of the Europe Forum are free for everyone to watch in real time via the virtual event page at which will be open starting from Monday 22 August. You can participate in the discussion by commenting and asking questions on the event page and on Twitter. All program sections of the forum are recorded and can be viewed later on YouTube.

This year, real-time simultaneous Finnish-English-Finnish interpretation is available for those following the live webcasts of the Europe Forum and arriving on site in the program sections of the Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel and the Turku City Theater. Simultaneous interpretation is not available at Arken and Hansakortteli events.

It is also possible to participate in the Europe Forum through on-site registration, which opens on the forum’s website on Monday, August 15 at 12. There are limited places and they are distributed in order of registration.

Head towards Europe’s future and join the Europe Forum on August 24–26, 2022