Makes sense to scratch deeper than the surface of the European Parliament

With respect to economic and monetary policy, as well as issues related to the budget, I have tended to vote according to the Group line. Instead, when it comes to environmental issues, I have more often been unable to share my Group’s views.

In their article on Monday, Votewatch used me as an example of how it is worth scratching beyond the surface with regards to the voting behaviour of MEPs. Specifically, the article indicated the need to look beyond Group positions or the positions of rapporteurs and coordinators, to determine the voting behaviour of individual MEPs. The article concluded from its analysis of deviation between Group line and an individual MEP’s voting behaviour that some MEPs seem to be more aware of the details of the issues being voted on than is perhaps generally assumed.

I have personally been working on environmental policy and legislation since the 1980s as a Member of the Parliament of Finland, as the Minister for Environment of Finland, and as the Deputy Chairman of the National Coalition Party of Finland. When, in 2008, I became a Member of the European Parliament and part of the EPP group, my priorities did not change. I still maintained the same priorities regarding issues including climate change, circular economy, and preservation of biodiversity that I had advocated for throughout my political career.

The same holds true with respect to gender equality and women’s rights. I am proud to be part of the ever-growing number of MEPs that want to protect women’s rights to make decisions about their own body, including the right to abortion and to quality sexual and reproductive health. Our advocacy and work for these rights is loud and active to influence as many people as possible to share and advance our views.

With respect to economic and monetary policy, as well as issues related to the budget, I have tended to vote according to the Group line. Instead, when it comes to environmental issues, I have more often been unable to share my Group’s views. I am aware, that some may consider this to be problematic and I feel sorry about this. Nevertheless, plurality and diversity is the best driving power of a political movement. Without it one can end up frozen in place, wasting away while watching the world go by.

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