The four parties currently trying to form Finland’s new government are divided on the future allocation of development funds to non-EU countries, including Ukraine.
Aiming to find a consensus on how to reach the ambitious target of cutting public debt by €6 billion in the next parliamentary term, the Chair of the National Coalition Party and the future Prime Minister Petteri Orpo found himself between two opposing views.
Former Chair of the Finns Party, Jussi Halla-aho demanded maximum cuts to development cooperation funds. The current Chair of the party, Riikka Purra supported the idea of re-targeting the funds to help Ukraine, which according to her, should receive the most.
The Swedish People’s Party of Finland was quick to disagree, however.
According to the party Chair Anna-Maja Henriksson, Ukraine does need long-time support, and support to the war-torn country should not hurt other countries in need.
Rather than cuts, the party wants the level to be raised to 0.7% of the GDP.
However, Petteri Orpo, currently leading government negotiations, is calling for the funds to be reassessed and cut if needed.
The Christian Democrats, the fourth party participating in the negotiations, favour development cooperation. The Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland have also appealed to maintain funds.
In 2022, Finland allocated 0.42 of its GDP to development cooperation.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)
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