SAMOK (University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland) and SYL (National Union of University Students in Finland) have published their focal points for this May’s European elections: education, mobility and participation.
“Our generation has grown up in a Europe in which mobility is a given and education is appreciated as a guarantee of equality. Things should remain this way, so the EU must invest sustainably and in the long-term in education, research and innovation policy. Furthermore, as on all policy levels, the European Union must commit to an ambitious environment policy,” says SAMOK's President, Iiris Hynönen. “Voter turnout among young adults in Finland is at worrisome levels. In Great Britain, the Brexit vote showed us what can happen when older generations use their votes to decide the future of the younger generation. It’s now time to take action - use your vote in the European elections!” says SYL President, Sanni Lehtinen.
On May 15, the first day of advancing polling, SAMOK and SYL will organize a joint EU Seminar at the Apollo Live Club in Helsinki, where we will delve deeper into the European Union and EU engagement. The seminar is intended for representatives of student unions of universities and universities of applied sciences. At the end of the seminar, there will be an election panel, organized by the students unions of the capital region, for candidates from parliamentary parties standing in the European elections. The panel is open to everyone. You can also watch the panel on SAMOK’s Facebook page.
Education has intrinsic value as a guarantee of successful learning and a functioning democracy. Education, research and innovation policies must be consistent in EU decision-making. Education should be considered in its entirety and vocational education should be moved from the Employment Commissioner’s portfolio back to the Education Commissioner. The European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education plays a key role in education policies at European level, so we recommend that at least one of Finland’s future MEPs apply for membership on the committee.
EU funding brings about wellbeing, responds to global challenges, and promotes both mobility and European integration. Sustainable development goals should be noted in the criteria for EU funding. Only with education can we solve the major challenges of today, including those posed by climate change. As a programme that advances international mobility, Erasmus is playing a key role in the development of a European and international identity among students and youths in EU member states.
Development in education should be student-focused and student engagement must be protected at EU level. The EU cannot build sustainable and fair generational policies without students’ know-how. Decision-making should be as accessible as possible for young people and students, who must be able to participate in decision-making and preparatory work.
Iiris Hynönen, President, SAMOK (University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland), 050 389 1000, email@example.com
Sanni Lehtinen, President, SYL (National Union of University Students in Finland), 044 906 5007, firstname.lastname@example.org