Archive for February, 2011

Integrating the gas networks of Finland and Baltic countries

February 4, 2011

Eeva Sani

The Finnish natural gas market is relatively small and isolated, with a pipeline connection to Russia. The demand for natural gas is expected to increase in Finland in the future and the current gas supply volume via the existing transmission pipeline from Russian Karelia will become inadequate. Finland is now investigating possibilities to link gas networks with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to ensure security of supply through connection to the rest of the European Union. (more…)


GM – EU’s solution to shortage of food?

February 4, 2011

Written by Kaisa Manner and Tuija Numminen

Lately there has been frequently EU related news that contain letter combination GMO:
a genetically modified organism. What is going on in EU?


The uneasy task of lifting the EU’s face

February 4, 2011

By Johanna Pohjola and Kati Rantala

The EU politics and legislation have an enormous impact on us. For example, it affects to more than two thirds of the Finnish laws directly or indirectly and supports our agriculture.

Despite of this fact the EU issues do not appear particularly appealing to the ordinary people. According to the Eurobarometer, only 40.3 per cent of the Finnish people voted in the European Parliamentary elections 2009. It is about 27 percentage points less than the turnout in the last national Parliamentary elections.

Especially the young don’t get excited – according to a study of Kimmo Elo, a political scientist and docent of the Turku University in Finland, only 13 percent of the Finnish youth considers voting in the European Parliamentary elections important. Finland is not an exception, Elo affirms.

The interest in the EU in the member countries is generally quite low. In Finland it is close to the average. People know that EU decisions are made in Brussels, but they don’t know how. When people feel the decision-making distant, they start to have doubts about it”, Elo tells in an interview. (more…)

The Baltic Sea needs EU money

February 4, 2011

Picture: Metsähallitus

Eveliina Ruokolainen, Elli Räsänen

The Baltic Sea has many nicknames. One of them is “the most polluted sea in the world”.

Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics Markku Ollikainen from the University of Helsinki knows the term.

– Yes, you could say so. Compared to any other sea in the world, average depth of the Baltic Sea is low, only 58 metres. And that is one of the things that makes it so vulnerable.


Estonia provides Finland with good, cheap labour

February 3, 2011

By Minna Ala-Kyyny & Sampo Utriainen

Finland is the most popular destination country for Estonian labour. Approximately 50,000–100,000 Estonia’s residents regularly commute to Finland. The construction industry, heavy industry, bus or lorry driving and nursing are the main areas of work of the Estonian guest workers.

Estonian workers cutting the lime stone


The Finance of European Culture at Stake?

February 3, 2011

By Pirita Männikkö and Petra Vuolanen

The recent financial crises in the European monetary area might have a far greater impact on the European future than you’d think. One of the sufferers is culture.

The Turku European Capital of Culture year was opened with the performance “This Side, The Other Side” on 15 January 2011. Photo: Arto Takala/Turku 2011


Norway’s Information Promise

February 2, 2011

On January 17th 2011 Norway’s Foreign Ministry published an Information Promise concerning communication and cooperation between Norway and the other EFTA countries and the EU. The goal of the promise is a more active, clear and open communication in EU affairs.

The Information Promise is based on the document St. meld. nr. 23, which is the Foreign Ministry’s guide line for Norwegian European politics.