70 years old | The European Union is in danger of collapsing if the Hungarian road is not stopped, says veteran diplomat Petri Tuomi-Nikula

“We have a country within the EU that does not comply with the Treaties. It eats up a common set of values. This is a completely fundamental issue for the future of the EU, ”says Petri Tuomi-Nikula, who has had a diverse diplomatic career.

FIRST IMPRESSION can only be given once. You know that too Petri Tuomi-Nikula. At the beginning of the interview, he spins orthodox cappuccinos and offers guests a Christmas cake from Italy.

The milieu is not the worst. Tuomi-Nikula’s spectacular apartment in the heart of Helsinki’s Katajanokka is like an art museum: hanging on the walls Danger of death, Suddenly steep, Marjatta Tapiola, Cain Tapperia and many other major names in domestic contemporary art.

Thank you for your hospitality. Tuomi-Nikula, on the other hand, is stalling.

“Don’t think too much now,” he says. “I made terribly coffee myself.”

He’s kidding.

TUOMI-NIKULA is a cultural activist with a long and varied diplomatic career and a washable cosmopolitan whose job has been to take care of what things look like.

He has served as Finland’s Ambassador to Italy, Malta and Hungary, among others, worked in various supervisory positions in the Press and Culture Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and has been influential in the Finland Promotion Board and Jorma Ollilan in expert panels such as the country brand delegation led by

In recent years, Tuomi-Nikula has served as a senior advisor to Sitra (Finnish Independence Celebration Fund) in the Democracy Renewal Key Program.

Finnish marketer, Is that what he is? “Without further ado,” says Tuomi-Nikula.

“It’s been really important. But there has also been a strong ethos and desire to change things that have been seen as important. Everything has been a question of how to make Finland cope. ”

TO TUOMI-NIKULA The most significant milestones in his career have been the ambassadors in Rome and Budapest, as well as the positions of Secretary General during Finland’s first EU Presidency and in the Advisory Board for International Information in the late 1980s.

The purpose of the latter was to find out what Finland’s image looked like from the outside and what changes Finland should make to improve its reputation. Prime minister Kalevi Sorsan appointed to the working group Aatos Erkon, Pertti Salolainen and Jörn Donnerin such names.

The 1990 report of the Advisory Board highlighted three issues: education, the environment and culture.

Tuomi-Nikula believes that the thoughts and ideas of the Advisory Board were reflected in the programs and political decision-making of future governments and were seen as a positive development in, among other things, the successful Pisa studies of the early 2000s.

Finland began to appear to the world as a model country for education.

What is the meaning of images?

“It’s insanely big,” Tuomi-Nikula replies.

“But if the image doesn’t match reality, it corrects very quickly. A mirror image can never be better than reality. At the heart of a small nation’s survival strategy are always education, education and social capital. ”

CULTURE and Civilization are also important to Tuomi-Nikula. On the bedside table rests Russian classics and David Foster Wallacen great novel Endless joy. He says that he is wading in connection with the upcoming holiday in Lapland.

Tuomi-Nikula is also a sworn friend of the opera. He has been a member of the board of the Savonlinna Opera Festival and has written an opera singer. Matti Salminen biography Kingbass.

After drinking coffee, we move on to take photos of the library room side. At the same time, Tuomi-Nikula’s wife Merja Tuomi-Nikula arrives home. She glances at her husband, and soon the dark sweater has changed to a more colorful combination.

Is aesthetics probably important to them?

“Yes, that’s probably the case,” says Petri Tuomi-Nikula.

“Beauty and a well-groomed environment are, of course, pleasurable, but they are also a sign of a certain kind of organization of the human mind. That pleases me greatly. ”

Does it bring good luck?

“Yeah, it brings satisfaction.”

ONLY Tuomi-Nikulanka’s life is still not a constant experience. He says he has sadly followed developments in recent years in his former homeland of Hungary.

Prime minister Viktor Orbánin during the reign, free civil society, human rights and the rule of law have been abandoned piece by piece. Hungary has become a dictatorship.

“Democracy has been put in the throat,” Tuomi-Nikula sums up.

He hopes that Finland and the European Union will take a more active role in stopping the chain of events. He considers the current development to be very dangerous.

“Brexit, for example, is a small thing compared to this process,” says Tuomi-Nikula.

“We have a country within the EU that does not comply with the Treaties. It eats up a common set of values. This is a fundamental issue for the future of the EU. “

“If this is not put right now, the European Union as we know it is in danger of falling apart. That is quite clear. ”

Petri Tuomi-Nikula

Born in 1951 in Kälviä. Lives in Helsinki.

Master of Political Science from the University of Helsinki. Major in political history.

Worked as an ambassador, as a supervisor in the Foreign Ministry’s Press and Culture Department, as Secretary General of Finland’s first EU Presidency and as Director of Communications and Marketing at Fujitsu-Invia.

Was involved in launching MTV3’s Ten News in 1980.

The family includes a spouse, gynecologist Merja Tuomi-Nikula, and an adult daughter.

Turns 70 on Tuesday, January 12th.

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