Nordics & Baltics

Politics 19-10-2021

Gains at both ends of the political spectrum in Estonia’s local elections

Parties representing the old political establishment held their ground in Estonian local elections on Sunday, but newcomers from the opposite ends of the political spectrum made significant gains. The two parties in the government, the Center Party and Reform, managed...
Politics 18-10-2021

Norway’s Centre Party, now in government, has strong anti-EU sentiments

The new minority government of the Labour Party and Centre Party, sworn into office on Thursday, has differing views regarding the EU. While Labour is in favour of having strong cooperation with its “European neighbours”, the rhetoric of the Centre party...
Arctic Agenda 17-10-2021

Danish FM: Important to keep the Arctic conflict-free

It must be the Arctic states that are in the driver’s seats to create resilience in the region, Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod told EURACTIV. Kofod spoke to Global Europe reporter Alexandra Brzozowski on the sidelines of the Arctic Circle...
Politics 15-10-2021

Norway’s new government unimpressed with EU’s Arctic drilling pledge

The country’s incoming centre-left government has said it will seek to grow the country’s lucrative oil and gas industry while striving to cut carbon emissions. The comments came only a day after the EU pledged to pursue a ban on...
Politics 15-10-2021

Envoys meeting over Belarus migration unexpectedly postponed

The EU’s executive summoned envoys from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia on Thursday to discuss the fate of migrants stranded on their border with Belarus. But the meeting did not take place. “I’m very concerned about reports of people including children...
Politics 15-10-2021

Estonia may join Europe’s pro-nuclear front

Estonia is having second thoughts about the pro-nuclear statement made by nine EU countries backing France. Initially considering the joint statement as “premature”, Estonia now says it is not ruling out the use of more nuclear power in its energy...
Politics 14-10-2021

Finnish forest companies inspected for suspected EU antitrust violations

The European Commission is inspecting several Finnish forestry firms to ascertain whether some have pursued cartels or other restrictive business practices. The Commission’s competition authorities entered on Tuesday (12 October) the premises of Finnish companies Stora Enso, UPM and Metsä...
Politics 13-10-2021

Russian oligarch buys Finnish land with Cypriot ‘golden passport’

The sale of a large island from a strategically important area in Finland to a Russian oligarch has raised concerns on so-called “golden passports”, a scheme where EU countries exchange citizenship for investment by wealthy foreign nationals. In 2020, Igor...
Politics 12-10-2021

Sweden develops first satellite launch site in the EU

Esrange Space Center will be the first platform for developing rocket technologies and launching satellites in the European Union. Situated outside the city of Kiruna in northern Sweden, the site should be ready for operation by the summer of 2022....
Politics 11-10-2021

Finland lobbies nuclear energy as a sustainable source

Following a previously secret decision, the Finnish government will lobby the European Union to declare nuclear power as a sustainable energy source. Wind and solar have been approved as sustainable by the EU, but decisions on gas and nuclear have...
Politics 07-10-2021

Migrants starving in Belarus next to Lithuanian border, NGO says

A group of starving and freezing migrants are stranded in Belarus, some 50 metres from the Lithuanian border, according to information the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) received on Wednesday. “Such reports are very disturbing. It is extremely difficult to...
Politics 01-10-2021

Finland eyes possible NATO membership

Finland, a close NATO ally, will keep a close eye on the alliance’s development, bearing in mind the possibility of membership, President Sauli Niinistö told a Finnish Insitute for International Affairs seminar. He added that the country could shape the...
Politics 30-09-2021

Rail Baltic completion postponed until 2030

The Rail Baltic connection, linking Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Central European destinations, will not be completed by 2026 as initially planned. Instead, it is expected to be completed by 2030, which coincides with completing the rest of the European-wide...
Politics 29-09-2021

Lithuanian social democrats take lead in polls

The centre-left Lietuvos Socialdemokratų Partija (Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, LSDP) would better their position from last year’s heavy election defeat where the party received 9.6% of the vote to almost 30% if an election were held today, according to the latest...
Politics 29-09-2021

Finnish intelligence names Russia, China as main suspects of espionage

Finland is “a continuous target of state-sponsored cyber espionage”, with China and Russia being among the main suspects, according to the National Security Overview published by the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service’s (Supo). The report states that cyber espionage is...
Politics 28-09-2021

Finnish children in Syrian refugee camp given access to distance learning facilities

Finnish children in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria can now take part in distance-learning in Finnish through their mothers’ telephones. Though participating in the education programme is voluntary, interest has been significant. The long-term aim is to help the...
Politics 27-09-2021

Sweden, Denmark and Norway sign a defence cooperation agreement

Sweden, Denmark and Norway signed a defence cooperation agreement on Friday in response to the growing tensions in the Baltic Sea and apparent Russian aggression, but Finland’s absence from the deal has raised a few questions. The three-state agreement mainly...
Politics 24-09-2021

Tech industries say Finland needs 130,000 new specialists next decade

The Technology Industries of Finland, a lobbying organisation for the technology industry representing some 1,600 companies, is warning that the acute and deteriorating shortage of skilled labour could endanger the country’s economic growth. It may also impact welfare services and...
Politics 23-09-2021

Swedish-Israeli relations warming up

After a seven-year hiatus, Sweden and Israel are on speaking terms again as the two countries may open a new chapter in their relations ahead of the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism. Strained relations between the...
Politics 23-09-2021

US, Russia hold first post-Afghanistan talks in Helsinki

US General, Mark Milley, chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Russian General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, held a six-hour-long meeting in Helsinki on Wednesday, in the first face-to-face meeting between them since 2019....
Politics 22-09-2021

Finland’s purchase of new fighter jets could get political

The choice between five bidders offering 64 fighter planes to replace Finland’s current Hornet fleet at a €9.4 billion price tag has become increasingly political for the government after Australia scrapped a submarine order with Paris in favour of a deal...
Politics 21-09-2021

Swedish minority government proposes generous budget

The red and green minority government of social democrats and greens has announced a budget bill for 2022, which provides another shot in the arm for the economy already seeing a strong recovery. The estimated growth for Sweden’s economy this...
Politics 20-09-2021

EU should stay away from Finnish forests

Forestry should be based on local conditions and knowhow in each member state, the Finnish government’s ministerial committee on EU affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, said on Friday, highlighting that forest policy belongs to the competences of member...
Politics 17-09-2021

New Defence Report puts new focus on cyberspace and the Arctic

According to the government’s new Defence Report, Finland’s defence environment is “tense” and “difficult to predict”. Cyber and information environments and space are lifted as areas next to traditional land, sea and air. The superpower activity in the Arctic is...