True Finns Vis-A-Vis A European Transfer Union

Timo Soini

It was to be expected that the success of the True Finns in the Finnish parliamentary election earlier this month would cause many angry comments in Euroland.  Many of the European elite openly expressed their resentment over the party's policies which include opposition to the European Union, reductions in foreign aid, strict limits on immigration, tougher punishment for crime, support for cultural activities promoting the Finnish identity etc.  The point of concern for the 'official Europe' is of course the campaign of Timo Soini's party against a bailout of Portugal and its opposition against the European Stability Mechanism in general.   In Timo Soini's words, "the Finnish cow should be milked in Finland and the milk should not be sent abroad in charity".  

That is a message that we of course fully understand and support, as many voters in other European countries do. In the name of solidarity - what's in a name? - Europe is being transformed into a transfer union after the Belgian model.  

An article which appeared in the pro-European magazine 'European voice' of 28 April 2011 illustrates the dangerous way of thinking among eurocrats and how they view national democracies as irritating obstacles on the road to a European super state. According to Gavin Barrett:

"One might reasonably ask why Europe should care about a party that obtained less than one-fifth of votes in a country with just over 1 % of the EU's population.  The answer is straightforward: the eurozone states themselves have agreed that decisions on bail-outs must be unanimous.  Finland's capacity to complicate any 'bail-out' derives from exactly the same veto power that France and Germany are using to block any reduction in the interest rate on Ireland's 'bail-out' ".

In Barrett's view, the requirement of unanimous decision-making on bailouts is dangerous because it allows 'populist minority groupings' to block decisions.  Outcomes of national elections in small countries may never be allowed to stand in the way of efficient decision-making.        

This journal draws a very different lesson from the Finnish election result.  In our view, all states and all national democracies are equal, whether they be big or small.  Outcomes in national elections should always and unconditionally be respected.  Many Finns have expressed that they do not want a European transfer union or in any case that the (intergovernmental) rules in this field may not be altered.  This national preference must be respected.

Got Solidarity?

Kappert, you are probably right that Finland should leave the EU and the Euro.  But what is that "other countries' solidarity" you mention?  From here it only appears to be soldarity among a certain stripe of ambitious bureaucrats, not among "countries," far less among the peoples of those countries.  This is the Voegelinian question:  who represents the nation?  These days, just about no one. 

own milk

If Finland wants to drink its own milk then they should leave the EU and the Euro and not mess with other countries' solidarity.

But maybe there is someone dedicated in explaining the advantages of the EU for the Fins.