My work in the European Parliament
As an elected MEP, it is important to be open and transparent in your work. In this calendar you can follow my schedule and also see all the meetings I have with lobbyists and interest groups.
Work in the committees
Most of the daily work takes place in parliamentary committees. This is how current issues are dealt with and MEPs from all groups figure out what positions to take and process different legislative proposals and take other decisions that fall under Parliament’s area of competence. The committee’s work and position then forms the basis for the decisions and laws which all of Parliament assumes during the plenary sessions in Strasbourg. Unfortunately, we must travel there every month, even though it is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable.
Membership in three law-making committees
Every MEP is typically a member in a few parliamentary committees and works primarily with those issues which are the subject of those specific committees. I am currently a full member in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as well as the Committee on Budgets. I am an alternate on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. The three committees to which I belong are considered to be some of the most important in Parliament and I am glad that I have the opportunity to work in them. You can read more about these three committees below.
In the environmental committee, I am also the coordinator for our liberal political group Renew Europe. This means that it is my job to coordinate the views of the different MEPs and to advance the daily political work.
Monitoring several areas
In addition to the committees I am a member in, I monitor four committees in particular which are important for Finland: the committees for fisheries, agricultural and rural development, regional development, and transport and tourism. Even though I am not a member or alternate on these committees, I and my team actively follow the work done in them.
Legislative and non-legislative committees
At the beginning of every term of Parliament, committee seats are distributed, and it is determined who gets to sit on the “legislative” committees and on the “deliberate” ones. The legislative committees are those which have great legislative power. The deliberative ones decide primarily about Parliament’s position and opinion on different issues. All committees fulfill an important function, but legislative power is considered to be extra prestigious.
My main committees in the EU Parliament
In the environment, industry and budgets committees, my parliamentary colleagues and I work to find solutions for the big questions which are important for our time. We must manage to improve our climate goals and reduce emissions (environmental committee). At the same time, we have to make sure that the transition to a climate-neutral society can be carried out without worsening the competitiveness for our industry (industry committee). Part of the solution to all of these challenges is to secure enough resources for research and innovation (budgets committee).
Of course, many other decisions are made in the committees too, but this makes the themes more concrete and explains why I wanted to work in these committees in particular. My main committees form a trinity, which, I am convinced, is an important part of the solution to the big challenges.
As a member and the coordinator of Renew Europe, I have good opportunities to actively work with and influence these issues, which have effects on both a local and global level. Practically speaking, this means that I am the one who is guiding the political work in our group forward. I do this, in part, by coordinating the views of our members into a unified group position within the committee, but also by delegating the job to the most suitable member, so that all members feel included. After that, I meet the coordinators from the other political groups, and we come to an agreement about the committee’s political lines, stance and law proposal.
From a purely practical perspective, environment and climate issues will probably be at the top of the agenda all throughout the mandate period 2019-2024. We are going to make decisions about climate legislation, emissions trade and how we can in the most general sense reduce emissions and ensure that the goals we set are achieved. Since we can’t stop all emissions over-night, the transition period to our long-term climate goals is an extremely interesting subject.
In addition to climate policy, I also work for the Baltic Sea and the well-being of the seas. To begin with, we have to reduce the amount of plastic in the seas.
The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy is closely related to the environmental committee. A modern and sustainable energy society and a modern and sustainable industry society are prerequisites for succeeding with the green transition.
Research and innovation play a big role here and I follow the developments closely. It seems to me that there are several innovative Finnish companies which have already begun this transition. With these innovations in mind, I can then make sure that we, in the environmental committee, take decisions which help and encourage innovations and do not hinder them.
In the Committee on Budgets, Parliament uses its power over the budget for the EU and its institutions. The workload in this committee is enormous and the issues are very interesting. In this committee, I can be involved in influencing the EU’s sub-areas by controlling the distribution of resources. Without money, not much happens in the different policy areas.
I have previously and continue to work to ensure that the EU uses its budgetary resources in a way that creates added value for both the individual European citizen, as well as the member states. I don’t think that the so-called EU money should go to maintain old, non-functioning structures and funds, but rather to youth, the climate, research and innovation. We can do this best by reviewing old programmes and strengthening programmes like Horizon and Erasmus.
Work in delegations and intergroups
The European Parliament has appointed parliamentary delegations to maintain and develop Parliament’s international contacts. I am a full member in the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and an alternate in the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the USA.
MEPs can also form voluntary work groups around urgent issues. I am a member of the intergroups for issues concerning minorities, the disabled and issues relating to the sea, rivers, islands and coastal areas.
Work in my political group and the European party
MEPs belong to different political groups depending upon their political affiliations. I am a member in the liberal group in Parliament, Renew Europe (RE), previously the ALDE group (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe). Between January 2017 and June 2019, I served as the group’s vice chairman. Today I am the group’s coordinator in the legislative Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The group has 108 members and is the third largest in Parliament. We often hold the sway votes in difficult political decisions and our vote determines the majority in Parliament. This is a new role, but oh-so important, because Parliament is more split than before.
The Swedish People’s Party of Finland (SFP) belongs to the liberal European party, the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE). I also attend ALDE activities and often take part as SFP’s representative at ALDE events. Of the 108 members in the previously mentioned RE group, 80 are members in ALDE’s member parties.