SI SG in Finland during EU Elections

28 May 2019



Demokraatti, 28 May 2019
Sosialidemokraattisten puolueiden kansainvälisen yhteistyöjärjestön Sosialistisen internationaalin pääsihteeri, chileläinen Luis Ayala vieraili Suomessa seuraamassa europarlamenttivaalien tulosiltaa. Hän listasi Demokraatille eurovaalien tuloksesta kolme myönteistä ja huomionarvoista seikkaa, joita hän pitää keskeisinä... Read more




Chilean SI Secretary General, Luis Ayala, on the Euro election results “People continue to trust and believe in the European project”

Luis Ayala, the Chilean Secretary General of the Socialist International, the international organization for social democratic parties, visited Finland to follow the outcome of the European Parliament elections. He listed three positive and noteworthy aspects of the outcome of the European elections for Social Democrats, which he considers to be essential.

- First of all, it is very positive that more citizens have participated in these elections. Another important point is that the majority voted in favor of pro-EU political forces. It shows that people still have confidence in a European project, says Luis Ayala.

- Thirdly - and this is important - the nationalist and populist parties in Europe have grown, but they did not rise to a dominant position, as was feared before the elections, he continues.

Social Democrats in some countries lost seats in the European Parliament, but in other countries they were victorious. Mr Ayala, for example, is particularly pleased to see the results in Spain, where the Socialist Party led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was at its peak with almost 33%. Ayala is also pleased about the Portuguese and Belgian results. Enjoying the Finnish elections, Ayala is delighted by the good results of the Finnish Social Democrats.

- Eero Heinäluoma, a Vice-President of the Socialist International, got a very strong result and will now go to the Parliament with another strong Finnish MEP, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri. I am very happy about this, Ayala says.

- I'm pleased to see members of our organization from different countries elected to the European Parliament - I know many of them well. There are good, committed, Social Democrats, who received a strong mandate in the elections.

It is also good that MEPs have become more familiar to the public.

Luis Ayala characterizes the Social Democrats as an important and strong political force in Europe, even if there is no majority in the European Parliament. In Ayala's view, the Social Democrats have a lot to do.

- Social Democrats now have to work with other political forces to achieve goals that are important for us. We have always been at the forefront of halting climate change, we have long worked on peace, security and equal opportunities for all - these are European but also global issues, said Ayala.

In the European Parliament elections, according to Luis Ayala, voters also sent a message about what kind of European Union they want. In his opinion, responding to this fits exactly the socialist agenda.

- I believe that in the elections, Europeans expressed the desire for more democratic, transparent and accountable institutions within the EU - the Commission, the Parliament, all the decision-making bodies must bring people closer to the European institutions. It is good that MEPs have become more familiar to the public. It is important that people have a better idea of who is responsible, Ayala said.

Populist forces focus on themselves, emphasizing their own significance. We emphasize the need for international cooperation.

The Socialist International today brings together parties and organizations from around the world that share social democratic values. According to Luis Ayala, social democracy is a well-established political force at global level.

- There have been many new social democratic parties that have taken on more and more responsibilities. We face many challenges globally, including conflict resolution, we have always played a role as peacemakers, and striven to empower people, he says.

Luis Ayala emphasizes that international cooperation is now more important than ever in order to address the current climate of insecurity existing in some parts of the world, and the key issues of peace, security and climate change. It is here that, according to Ayala, the Social Democrats have strength compared, for example, with the right-wing forces.

- Populist forces focus on themselves, emphasizing their own importance. On the contrary, social democrats emphasize the need for cooperation. People and states must come together in Europe and in the world, and work together to face issues such as the challenges to democracy as can be seen in Venezuela or to peace in the Middle East.

Returning to Finland – these are exciting times, Ayala says, referring to the ongoing government negotiations. He also talked to Antti Rinne, the Chairman of the SDP, who is in charge of the government negotiations, and Ayala expressed optimism about the outcome.