Vox Populi: Matt Savage from Helsinki, Finland
1. What are your expectations/hopes from these elections?
For me these elections feel like a crucial moment in the history of the EU. At a time when we seem to be fighting for the very soul of Europe in the face of populism, there are incredibly important issues such as the environment, which desperately need strong and united leadership to tackle them effectively.
Since the infamous Brexit vote in 2016, I have felt that being European has further solidified in my identity and I see myself as being just as much European and Finnish as I am British.
My expectation is that leaders across Europe can ignite the same pride in their citizens in being European, and that a united Europe is to be celebrated for the strength in its diversity.
2. Do you/people in your member state still have faith in the EU to deliver?
Finland’s faith in the EU currently remains very buoyant although, despite the EU’s benefits, generally there is the feeling that the EU often seems distant and is in need of reform. Now that Finland is preparing to take on the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, there is hope that issues such as the environment, an issue close to the hearts of many Finns, will be placed high on the agenda.
3. Will you be voting? If so, who for (if you are willing to say)?
With the UK government’s intention still focussed on leaving the EU and, by default, soon no longer having MEPs, then I am reliant on those in Finland such as Vihreät who will best represent my views in the EU.
4. Tell us some very brief persona/biographical details about yourself?
I moved to Finland with my Finnish fiancée 2 1⁄2 years ago where we currently live and work in Helsinki. Learning Finnish has taught me the meaning of Sisu.