June 23. 2024. 1:25

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European Conservatives group admits Finns Party as new member

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) accepted the candidacy of the Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset) as a new member on Tuesday (11 April), less than ten days after the right-wing Finnish party placed second at general elections.

The accession of the Finns Party to the ECR will see the latter’s members of the European Parliament (MEPs) grow from 64 to 66. The Finns Party voted in favour of the candidacy on Wednesday.

“The new delegation will be made up of Teuvo Hakkarainen and Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, who will join the European Parliament in the coming weeks, replacing Laura Huhtasaari, who has moved to the Parliament of Finland following the Finns Party’s great national election success,” ECR stated in a press release on Tuesday.

Since 2019, the Finns Party has been in the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) political family, whose main members are the French National Front, the Italian League Party and the so-called Alternative for Germany.

However, in the previous European Parliament mandate, the Finns Party was an ECR member. “For the Finns Party, this represents a political return to the Eurorealist ECR Group, of which they were already a member in the 2014-2019 parliamentary term,” the press release said.

Like many right-wing parties across Europe, the Finns Party is hostile to the “intrusion of Brussels into all aspects of daily Finnish life”, and promotes “traditional Finnish and classic Western values”, according to them, shaped by “well-established Christian fundamentals” and heavily criticises other parties for their “open-immigration” and “globalisation” policies.

The party got 20.1% of votes, surpassing the socialist party led by ex-Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who reached 19.9%. The centre-right National Coalition Party came in at first place with 20.8%. The National Coalition Party is currently a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) group.

With the main three parties all reaching around 20% of votes, it is as yet unknown how Finland’s government will form a ruling coalition. One option on the table, however, is the possibility of a right-wing government led by the National Coalition party and the Finns party.

Finnish election results predict two possible government coalitions

All three of Finland’s biggest parties gained seats in Sunday’s election, with results suggesting complex negotiations ahead after what was a historically tight vote.

The election campaign focusing on the budget deficit, social security reform and immigration culminated on Sunday. Coming …

If such a scenario is realised, Finland would join those EU countries whose government is led by an alliance between the centre (EPP) and the right (ECR), such as Italy and Sweden.