Perussuomalaiset has returned home

Politics - May 24, 2023

Finland turns right. The era of Sanna Marin, a woke icon of the rainbow left and the social democrats, is over, at least for the next few years. The conservative party (Kookomus) came first with 20.8% of the votes led by Petteri Orpo, a 53-year-old man and former finance minister. Immediately after, Rikka Purra’s party of the Finns (Perussuomalaiset) took 20.1% of the votes. He obtained 46 seats within the Eduskunta out of a total of 200. The great surprise of the elections is precisely the latter. He convinced Finnish voters with their stance on immigration. After a few days of consultation and negotiations, the two right-wing parties announced their intention to form their own government. Together the two parties, counting the 48 Kokomus seats, reach a total of 104 seats.

After this electoral round, the European scenario also changes. The ECR, thanks to its political program, continues its growth within the European institutions. In fact, after the great success it had in its country’s general elections, the Finnish Perussuomalaiset party, until last month a member of the Identity and Democracy group, has applied to become a member of the large family of European conservatives. A request that was accepted and that from the next sessions of the European Parliament will see a new delegation sitting alongside the parties already members of the ECR.

The new MEPs are Teuvo Hakkarainen and Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner. They will replace Laura Huhtasaari who will not return to Brussels but will remain in the Finnish national parliament after the results obtained in the last electoral round. In this way, it passes from 64 deputies to 66. It thus becomes the fifth group of the European Parliament, slightly below the Greens. An excellent starting point for the European elections to be held in 2024. And, according to what the polls say, the Conservative group has every chance of becoming one of the main forces of the Strasbourg Parliament during the next legislature. After the great success obtained in the Italian political elections in September by Giorgia Meloni with Fratelli d’Italia and the excellent government action that she is carrying out in her country, there are all the conditions for imagining a Europe very different from the current one in next five years. Just as the other member parties of the European Conservative Party are doing very well within their own country.

In truth, Perussuomalaiset is not new to the Conservative party. In fact, he was already a member of the ECR in the 2014-2019 legislature. The words of congratulations from the co-president of the European Conservatives, Nicola Procaccini, immediately arrived: “I am delighted that the Finnish Party is with us again”. This, Procaccini always explains, represents confirmation for the ECR that it is operating in the right way. “For us, it is a confirmation that our political family is growing and that our course, which avoids extremism and maintains a reasonable democratic balance within the Union, is right. We are convinced – he concludes – that the Perussuomalaiset will make a decisive contribution to the work of our group and to our movement”. Furthermore, he underlined the programmatic lines that the ECR wants to bring within the European Union. “We want to reform the EU on the basis of Eurorealism, making it more respectful of the various identities of nation states”. Words of joy regarding this return were also expressed by Ryszardi Legutko, co-president of the ECR: “Perussuomalaiset shares our alternative vision of the future of Europe. And like us, it wants to reform the EU making it a community of homelands and nations that work together, respecting our different identities”.