Campaign calendar 3 weeks before the Helsinki Congress

Items may change

 

Monday 15 October – Helsinki

Finalising programme

Campaign meetings and phonecalls

Speech for Riley Institute

 

Tuesday 16 October – Brussels

Travel to Brussels

Meeting with Benelux, Spanish, Czech, and Slovak MEP Delegations

Interviews with CNBC, Index.hu, TVN Poland, Dagens Nyheter, Euronews, etc.

Networking dinner

 

Wednesday 17 October – Brussels

Launch of Campaign Programme – including townhall discussion and interviews

EPP Press Conference – presentation of EPP lead candidates

EPP Summit – including a number of bilateral meetings with EPP parties

Introducing the Campaign Programme in the European Parliament

Meeting with Polish MEP delegation

Interviews with Kleine Zeitung, Kurier, Die Presse, ZDF, etc

Networking dinner

 

Thursday 18 October – Brussels

EPP meeting on practicalities leading up to the Helsinki Congress

Interviews with Sky, La Razon, France Info, Channel 4 News, France 24, BBC, etc

Travel to Prague

 

Friday 19 October – Prague

Meeting with TOP 09

Meeting with KDU-ČSL

Public Debate on the Future of Europe

Bilateral meetings with Czech politicians

Interviews with DW, Hospodářské noviny

Travel to Helsinki

 

Saturday 20 October – Espoo

Speech on the Digital Revolution at Global Shapers Nordic Summit

Phonecalls

 

Sunday 21 October – Helsinki

Campaign meeting

Phonecalls

May I begin by congratulating you on your courage: coming to Helsinki for the EPP Congress in November takes guts – it will be dark and cold. But don’t worry, knowing Kokoomus, you are in for a cool experience combined with warm hospitality. Together we will make our congress a strong moment of European democracy.

In the past few months I have been in touch with many of you. After careful consideration and strong encouragement I have decided to run for election as the EPP’s candidate for Commission President. I will announce my candidacy in Strasbourg on 2 October 2018 at 16.00.

I feel that it is important for the EPP to make the best of the Spitzenkandidat-procedure. That means that we should have an open and democratic election between credible and experienced candidates. This will also strengthen our party as we approach the European elections in May 2019.

I welcome the candidature of my friend and colleague, Manfred Weber. I think it is crucial that Manfred and I have constructive and public debates on the future of Europe in the coming weeks.

I have decided to run for two reasons. First, I believe that now, more than ever, we need a strong defence of European values. Our ideological DNA is based on respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. I am convinced that these values are the foundation of Europe and as Commission President I will stand up for them.

In the 20th century the EPP won the battle of ideas. Democracy prevailed over fascism and communism mainly because of the relentless fight of our founding fathers all over Europe. We have always been strong advocates of liberal democracy, a social market economy and rules based globalisation. But our world view cannot be taken for granted. Our values are under attack from both inside and outside the European Union. It is time to stand on the barricades and defend Europe.

Secondly, I believe this is Europe’s moment. As the United States and the United Kingdom are in a process of voluntary marginalisation from world politics, the European Union needs to step in and fill the emerging power vacuums. Our close transatlantic alliance is by no means a thing of the past, but we must take more responsibility for our own destiny.

This means stepping up to the plate on issues such as security, migration, technology, employment, free and fair trade, sustainable growth, and climate change. The fourth industrial revolution – artifical intelligence and robotisation – will be a huge force of change for society. It will change the logic of economics, politics and science. If we do not prepare for the future together, Europe will be left behind.

It is time to rally around our cause for a strong Europe. This means mitigating unnecessary divisions between East and West, North and South. We must be better at highlighting what unites us instead of what differentiates us. We need more solidarity, whether on the future of the euro or migration. At the same time we need member states to take more ownership in the European project.

Many of you know my background and experience as an academic, civil servant and politician (please find my CV enclosed). Ten years in academia and civil service, four years in the European Parliament, eight years in government (Finnish Prime-, Finance-, Foreign-, Trade and Europe Minister) and a year at the European Investment Bank have not only given me a wealth of executive and legislative experience, but also moulded me into a dedicated pro-European.

I am taking a five week leave of absence from the EIB in the run-up to the EPP Congress on 7-8 November. I intend to present my programme for Next Generation Europe in Brussels on 17 October. In the coming weeks I will be travelling to as many capitals as possible to discuss the future of Europe with you. My team will be in touch with you about possible meetings and public debates with Manfred. My personal e-mail is alexander@stubb.eu.

I consider myself a centre-right moderate, and I intend to drive a pro-European and positive campaign. Together we can make this a success for the EPP and for the next generation of Europe. I hope to see you soon, and thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Stubb

I’ve had this feeling before. January 2004. Butterflies. Nerves. Determination.

I was about to announce my candidacy for the European Parliament elections. Moving from civil service and academia to politics was scary, a step into the unknown. From the backrooms into the public eye.

I look back at that moment now with a smile. Funny how things turn out in life. Fifteen years later I know I took the right decision. It was all worth it – every up, and every down. No complaints. No regrets. Just gratitude.

And here we go again. After four years in the European Parliament, eight years in government in various ministerial positions, including Prime Minister of Finland, and a year in the European Investment Bank, it is time to hit the campaign trail once more.

I have decided to run for election as the EPP’s (European People’s Party) candidate for President of the European Commission.

What is this all about? For the less EU-nerdy, this is an EU-style primary election where the different parties nominate lead candidate, Spitzenkandidat, not only to lead the campaign for the European Parliament elections, but eventually to become Commission President.

But as always, it’s a long haul. First you have to be elected as your party’s lead candidate. Then your party needs to win the European elections. Then the European Council needs to nominate you as Commission President. And finally you need to get a sufficient majority in the European Parliament to approve your proposed team of individual Commissioners. The new Commission is supposed to begin work on 1 November 2019.

The decision about the EPP’s lead candidate will take place in Helsinki in five weeks, on November 8. As in 2004, I will drive an open, pro-European and positive campaign.

Open in the sense that in addition to giving interviews and participating in public debates I will use social media and this blog to report about the campaign. Stay tuned on: http://alexstubb.com, http://twitter.com/alexstubb, http://facebook.com/alexanderstubb, http://instagram.com/alexstubb and snapchat: alexstubb.

Pro-European in the sense that I will defend European values: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are under attack from both inside and outside the EU and it is time to push back.

And positive in the sense that I will not be inciting fear and hatred, as seems so commonplace in today’s world. My approach is to address challenges in a pragmatic way by trying to find constructive solutions to common problems such as migration and climate change.

So, if you are into things European, or just simply like to follow elections, this is the place to be, at least for the coming five weeks. What you see is what you get. I do not do hierarchy or fancy campaign strategy. In the coming weeks I will update this blog regularly and keep you posted through social media and letters. I will publish my programme on 17 October.

I believe in values, not power politics. I believe in transparency, not pre concocted cabinet deals. I believe that every individual can make up his or her own mind for who is the most suitable candidate for European Commission President. This is about next generation Europe.

PS. I am on a five week unpaid leave of absence from the EIB. For all contacts and queries, please use my personal e-mail: alexander(a)stubb.eu. My campaign organisation is a WhatsApp-group.