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International Day of Democracy Seminar

When: Thursday 15 September 2022 at 11.00 am – 1.00 pm (coffee at 10.30 am) – Please note that the schedule has changed from the original
Where: Little Parliament Auditorium, Arkadiankatu 3 / Online

Our security environment has changed significantly since Russia started a war of aggression in Europe. The global trend of democratic backsliding has continued for a long time. How can security be strengthened by promoting democracy? In the future, will hard security trump soft security? How will Finland continue to support democracy as a member of NATO? What is the role of political parties in strengthening democracy?


10.30 Coffee

11.00 Opening remarks (pre-recorded)

  • Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs

11.10 Keynote: Democracy as means for maintaining peace and security

  • Laura Thornton, Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy

11.35 Panel discussion: Values in Finland’s foreign policy

  • Veronika Honkasalo MP, Left Alliance
  • Johannes Koskinen MP, Social Democratic Party
  • Karoliina Kähönen, Vice Chair, Movement Now
  • Jouni Ovaska MP, Centre Party
  • Ville Valkonen MP, National Coalition Party

12.15 Panel discussion: Democracy and global security

  • Eva Biaudet MP, Swedish People’s Party
  • Inka Hopsu MP, Greens
  • Tom Packalén MP, Finns Party
  • Peter Östman MP, Christian Democrats

12.50 Closing words

  • Gary Klaukka, Acting Executive Director, Demo Finland

13.00 Seminar ends

The event is hosted by the political journalist Robert Sundman. The seminar is held in Finnish, except for Laura Thornton’s keynote speech, which is in English. An interpretation from Finnish to English will be provided.

Demo Finland organises the event in partnership with the Parliament of Finland.

The auditorium is wheelchair accessible and has an induction loop. There is no sign language interpreting at the seminar. More information on accessibility is available from Programme Assistant Roope Keränen (, +358 50 535 9875).

Registration is closed, but the event will be streamed: (opens in a new tab).

Laura Thornton is director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. Prior to joining ASD, Thornton was director of global programs at International IDEA. She managed multiple teams across Europe focused on constitution-building, parliamentary process, elections, gender and inclusion, political parties, and democracy assessment and analysis. Thornton also worked at the National Democratic Institute for more than 20 years, serving in leadership positions across Asia and in the country Georgia. She has written extensively about political party development, political finance and corruption, elections, and disinformation and has led multiple election observation missions across the globe.

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