The congressional debate showed the degree of opposition to an overly expensive plan, which was finally voted on by members of Congress a week later on Tuesday, May 18.
Suddenly, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission, started tweeting in Finland.The Latvian assured in a message posted on his account on May 11 that the European recovery plan was a means “Unique and strict time limit” with « [leur] opportunity [se] Recovering from this special crisis”. At the same time, the delegates held their final debate in Helsinki before the vote on the second day.
However, for some time in Brussels, people have become more and more concerned: Will Finland derail everything by opposing the approval of the plan, which is vital to the 27 member states, so the plan can be deployed? It took a week for the Eduskunta members of the Finnish parliament to finally vote and approve the plan, with 134 votes in favor and 57 votes against it. Although the risk of rejection seems to be exaggerated, this concern is very real. Debates in Congress in recent months have shown opposition to a plan deemed too expensive and set a precedent for the fiscal federalism that Helsinki is worried about.
In the negotiations in Brussels in the spring of 2020, Finland has not formally joined the “Four Thrifts” organization composed of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. However, Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of the Social Democratic Party, has never concealed that she shared their reservations, especially on the principle of subsidy shares and mutual debt.
But since then, she has been defending it, which is not easy: a poll released by the think tank Eva on May 9 showed that only 40% of Finns approve, while the opposition party has 38% and 23% not. opinion. Last fall, a popular initiative in support of a referendum collected 50,000 signatures needed to organize a vote in parliament. Members of Congress rejected the proposal on May 11.
But what is surprising is the constitutional committee from Eduskunta. On April 27, its members decided to vote in favor of a two-thirds majority. “The committee believes that the plan may result in the transfer of power to Brussels, which justifies the qualified majority.”, Explained Juha Jokela, a European expert at the Finnish Institute of International Studies. “This can enhance the legitimacy of voting, but it also leads to the politicization of debates”, He pointed out.