Finland’s recent murmurs about potential EU departure, aptly named ‘Fixit,’ have sent ripples of intrigue across Europe. Finland is contemplating its future moves, the echoes of “We will abandon the EU” are raising questions about the durability of its European Union commitment.
Testing the Waters: From NATO to ‘Fixit’
Finland’s foray into NATO membership, a decision that barely marked its ink on the pages of history, is now clouded with a newfound ambivalence. The allure of NATO’s protective embrace appears to have come with a caveat. This time, the specter of a potential ‘Fixit’ has entered the stage, raising eyebrows and igniting discussions that could redefine the nation’s role within the European Union.
Jussi Halla-aho, the influential voice behind the far-right Finns Party, has set the tone for this discourse. With a nod to the concept of leaving the EU in the long term, Halla-aho’s call for ‘Fixit’ has amplified the chorus of dissent.
“It is justified that we aim to leave the EU in the long term,” Halla-aho told Reuters, citing “a democratic deficit” in which the EU limits member states’ sovereignty. “But at the same time, of course, we recognise that in the prevailing world situation, a fragmented Western Europe would be much weaker against the threat of totalitarian countries,” he said.
Read More: Finland threatens NATO
Many party figures echoed his views, saying exiting the eurozone and EU should remain long-term goals. The battle lines have shifted, and Finland finds itself navigating a delicate dance between sovereignty and regional cohesion.
A Presidential Pursuit with ‘Fixit’ In Mind
Halla-aho’s aspirations for the presidency are laced with the ‘Fixit’ policy. While his path to the presidency might be uncertain, his influence within the Finns Party is undeniable. With a stance rooted in anti-immigration sentiments, Halla-aho’s alignment with a party that now steers the nation’s course sets the stage for potential shifts in Finnish priorities.
As right-wing populism gains momentum across Europe, Finland’s flirtation with ‘Fixit’ underscores a larger trend of skepticism towards established order. The Finns Party congress also rejected the EU’s proposed Nature Restoration Law, with Tavio calling it “a sad example of the acceleration of the EU’s dictatorial policy under the guise of climate change”.
A Subtle Shift from West to…?
The rumblings of skepticism in Finland’s political corridors raise questions about its stance on Western alliances. Currently a parliament speaker in Finland, Halla-aho made opposing immigration the party’s main focus when he chaired it from 2017 to 2021. His party opposes immigration from certain parts of the world as “harmful for Finland”, he said.
And now he has finally called for Fixit. Halla-aho is an important man as his party is in coalition with the ruling NCP in Finland. Their government is known for taking a tough stance on migration and EU policies. Right after coming to power PM Peteri Orpo promised significant budget cuts and a major change in immigration policies. Clearly, Finland is piqued with the West.
Furthermore, Orpo’s government raised worries among Western powers regarding NATO. As most Finns are opposed to having troops and nuclear weapons near the Finnish-Russian border, Orpo decided to raise concerns.
This demonstrated that the government isn’t particularly pro-West. We long ago suggested that the govt. could potentially pose challenges to NATO and the EU’s efforts against Russia in the future and our guess now seems to be spot on.
The reluctance to embrace NATO’s military presence near the Finnish-Russian border and the subtle overtures towards ‘Fixit’ hint at a reevaluation of the nation’s Western affinities. As unity takes precedence over autonomy in the face of Ukraine’s crisis, the question of Finland’s long-term path remains open-ended.