The first of January 1995, Finland officially became part of the European Union.
Much has happened in Finland's 25 years of EU membership.
What trace has the EU left in the world and what can we expect from the future? Three green politicians already involved in politics tell us about it.
Heidi Hautala MEP
In the spring 2019 EU elections, citizens voted more actively and Brexit has boosted the EU's popularity. Young people's participation in particular reinforces confidence that the Union will be able to tackle vicious problems such as climate change.
The influence, called the soft power of the EU, is largely based on the fact that the EU has created the world's largest internal market. Their appeal means that when the EU takes action, the effects will be felt in a much wider area, even globally. Strict exhaust standards for cars or a privacy regulation for citizens are good examples of this.The task is getting harder all the time.
Now we need to create an economic model that is within the limits of the planet and is fair.
The potential of the circular economy is enormous, promising steps are being taken to steer traffic towards sustainable tracks, and the demands for adapting international trade to sustainable development are increasing. Here too, the EU can lead the world.
Pekka Haavisto - Foreign Minister
The EU has been a genuine peace project, which has built two post-World War II Europe for more than half a century of peace time. The importance of the EU in world politics must not be underestimated. The EU has enabled a constructive dialogue and dialogue to be maintained both with Iran and between Kosovo and Serbia. In addition, the EU is the world's largest development aid and humanitarian aid donor.
The direction of EU enlargement is now towards the Western Balkans.
The accession of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia is essential for the project of European Unity.
While the EU is turning its gaze to the new Member States, the process of resignation with the outgoing Member State, the United Kingdom, must be dealt with effectively. The new trade agreements will ensure the future security of operation between the EU and Great Britain.
Satu Hassi - Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Grand Committee
Without the European Union, nothing would have happened in international climate policy: there would have been no Kyoto agreement, no Paris agreement. In 2005, the EU began to encourage power plants and the so-called chimney industry to reduce emissions through emissions trading. This model has been copied around the world.
The EU created a market for new energy technologies, thus enabling the rapid development of wind or solar power to make it the cheapest option for the construction of new electricity production in almost every country in the world.
However, one should not be lulled into a sense of satisfaction. The EU is the best in the world on most climate policy issues, but still not good enough. To truly mitigate climate change, all countries need to significantly tighten their emissions targets.
Republished by kind permission.
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