Heading into the January 2024 Finnish presidential elections, the spotlight remains on foreign policy, an area where the Finnish head of state wields considerable influence. At the forefront of Finland’s foreign policy, however, is Russia and the nature of Helsinki’s future relationship with its neighbor. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Helsinki broke from its decades-long policy of formal military non-alignment by applying for and receiving membership in NATO. Outgoing president Niinistö had a crucial role in executing this monumental shift, helping set Finland down a new path, but considerable questions and issues remain. On this bonus episode of Brussels Sprouts, join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend as they moderate a debate between Finland’s leading presidential candidates, Dr. Mika Aaltola, Pekka Haavisto, and Alex Stubb, on the future of Finnish foreign policy.
Dr. Mika Aaltola is running as an independent candidate in the 2024 Finnish elections. He is currently on a leave of absence from his position as the Director of the Finish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA).
Pekka Haavisto is a member of the Green Party and the Finnish Parliament. He previously served as the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2019 to 2023.
Alex Stubb is running as the National Coalition candidate in the 2024 Finnish Presidential Race. Prior to this, he served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. Additionally, he was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008.
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