Inspired by the Almedalen Week in Sweden, since 2006 every year in July Finnish political parties and citizens come together in the city of Pori for SuomiAreena, a public forum for speeches, discussions and other political activities. This year, SuomiAreena took place from 10 to 14 July and it was attended by 74,000 participants, a record number of visitors.
Finnish ALDE Party members Suomen Keskusta, led by Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, and Svenska Folkpartiet (SFP), led by Anna-Maja Henriksson, actively participated in the event.
On the one hand, Suomen Keskusta addressed the SuomiAreena visitors in several occasions, including a Ministers' exam, where four Keskusta Ministers, Anne Berner (Transport and Communications), Annika Saarikko (Family and Social Services), Kimmo Tiilikainen (Housing, Energy and Environment) and Anu Vehviläinen (Local Government and Public Reforms), had the chance to explain and review their work.
On the other hand, Svenska Folkpartiet politicians also took stage at SuomiAreena with a discussion featuring SFP leader Anna-Maja Henriksson, Nils Torvalds MEP, Eva Biaudet MP and SFP parliamentary group leader Stefan Wallin.
During the event, Henriksson called for closer Nordic cooperation: "For us in the Nordic countries, it is natural to safeguard democracy, the rule of law and to abide by international agreements. Therefore, we have a common task of defending the foundations of everyday political work."
The next SuomiAreena wil be held from 16 to 20 July 2018 again in Pori, Finland.