Leading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

18.03.19 | News
Møde i Plenum Stortinget, Jessica Polfjärd blandt tilhørere, Nordisk Råds Session 2018

Møde i Plenum Stortinget, Jessica Polfjärd blandt tilhørere, Nordisk Råds Session 2018

Sara Johannessen
Ahead of this year’s election for the European Parliament, on 8 April in conjunction with the Nordic Council’s Theme Session in Copenhagen, the Nordic Council will bring together candidates from the three Nordic EU Member States to take part in a joint debate for the very first time.

Ahead of the election on 26 May, candidates from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden (several of whom are leading candidates for their respective parties) will take part in the debate. All of Denmark’s parties will be represented, and almost all by leading candidates.

The moderator will be Anna Gaarslev who is the European correspondent for the Danish state broadcaster DR. The debate will be cover three topics: the Nordic Region after Brexit, climate policy, and defence and security policy.

“This is a unique event. We’ve never before seen a pan-Nordic debate in which every Nordic EU Member State is represented ahead of a European parliamentary election. It’ll be exciting to follow a debate which has a Nordic perspective in terms of its content, and in which the topics that are to be discussed will be highly relevant to both the Nordic Region and the EU,” says the President of the Nordic Council Jessica Polfjärd, who is also an election candidate for the Moderate Party in Sweden.

Nordic prelude to European parliamentary election

All Nordic parliamentarians who attend will have the opportunity to ask questions during the debate, even those representing countries that aren’t EU Member States, which makes this a pan-Nordic prelude to the European parliamentary election. The Danish delegation to the Nordic Council is organising the event.

“In the Nordic Council, we value the successful co-operation between the Nordic countries also within the EU, which is why this pan-Nordic prelude to the election for the European Parliament isn’t just relevant, but also completely new. It’ll be interesting to see whether the debate can kick start any additional opportunities for co-operation between the Nordic countries within the EU,” says the host of the event and member of the Nordic Council Henrik Dam Kristensen.

Open to the media and the public

The debate will take place on 8 April from 15:00 to 17:00 at the Marriott Hotel, Kalvebod Brygge 5 in Copenhagen and is open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend the debate in person must register at NordiskEU-debat@ft.dk by 1 April. The number of places is limited.

Media representatives must register with Matts Lindqvist by e-mail matlin@norden@org or by calling +45 29 69 29 05.  

The Nordic Council will come together for its annual Theme Session in Copenhagen on 8 and 9 April. The theme of this year’s Session is gender equality and democracy. The European parliamentary election debate is a side event at the Session. The debate can followed via interpreters in Finnish, Icelandic, and English and will be streamed online.

The participants in the debate are:

Denmark: Mette Bock (Liberal Alliance), Morten Løkkegaard (Venstre - Liberal Party), Jeppe Kofod (Social Democrats), Pernille Weiss (Conservative People’s Party), Morten Helveg Petersen (Danish Social Liberal Party), Margrete Auken (Socialist People’s Party), Nikolaj Villumsen (Red-Green Alliance), Rasmus Nordqvist (The Alternative), and Lave K. Broch (People’s Movement Against the EU).

Finland: Kimmo Sasi (National Coalition Party) and Mia Haglund (Left Alliance).

Sweden: Jessica Polfjärd (Moderate Party) and Peter Lundgren (Sweden Democrats).

The Nordic Council is the official inter-parliamentary body for Nordic co-operation. It was formed in 1952 and consists of 87 members from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland. The Nordic Council meets four times per year.