Today the Prime Minister of Finland, Mr Juha Sipilä, will address the European Parliament on the Future of Europe.
Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"All the people, especially young people, on the streets show us that we truly need to put planet and people before profits, and to get serious about climate protection. Finland has great assets to show the way, namely by protecting and ensuring sustainable harvest levels of its forests that capture 27 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year, in Finland alone. We expect the Finnish government to put climate protection high on the agenda during the Finnish EU Presidency in the second half of this year. Finland should lead by example.
"We call on the Finnish government to review its huge cuts to the education budget. For a very long time Finland has been an example for other European countries when it comes to quality education. We urge the Finnish Prime Minister to continue to invest in the future. This applies also for the European budget that will be negotiated under Finnish Presidency. We need investment into future-oriented, sustainable development, in particular in regions where people are lacking jobs and prospects. With the current shrinking budget, this is impossible. It will be a key task for the Finnish Presidency to ensure that the EU has sufficient resources to fulfil its promise of prosperity."
The debate can be viewed here from 10.00 am: www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html