The European People’s Party group (EPP) in the European Parliament has chosen to award this year’s Robert Schuman Medal to Ilkka Suominen.
Suominen is a former Finnish trade minister and member of the country’s National Coalition Party. Between 1999 and 2004 he served as a member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
“Ilkka Suominen has gained respect in European politics both as a national politician and in the European Parliament as a Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group. His vision, commitment and personal networks paved Finland’s way into the European Union during the 1990s”, said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
“Ilkka Suominen has also left his mark on the development of the EPP family. During his leadership of the National Coalition Party, Mr. Suominen took an active role in a newly-founded European Democrat Union, an organisation that later merged into the European People’s Party. As a Vice-Chairman of the EDU, Mr. Suominen worked to strengthen the organisation’s values, among many other fields, in promoting the principles of a social market economy.”
The medal will be awarded to Suominen by Sirpa Pietikäinen, , who heads the Finnish Delegation of the EPP Group.
“I’m proud and happy to award Ilkka Suominen the Schuman Medal, the first Finnish politician to receive it. He laid the foundations that made the NCP what it is now: a modern, pro-European centre-right party that is an active and respected player in the EPP family and in European politics,” said Pietikäinen.