Dimitri Qvintus (141), candidate for the European elections

The EU needs to go back to its future

The European Union is about bringing people together – whether we are talking about people’s relationships and thoughts, their freedom of movement, about democracy or peace. This bringing together is sorely needed today, because Europe is under threat.

I was fortunate to grow up in a continent of peace. I was two years old when the Berlin wall collapsed. I was still a child, when the internal borders opened. I was allowed to grow up without fear, in an atmosphere of undisturbed optimism. We put our faith in progress, development and a brighter future.

As a politician and as the father of young children, I want my children’s and their children’s generation to grow up in a better Europe than I did. Progress doesn’t just happen – it requires political courage, determination and imagination. The EU can face the 2030s only as a defender of the rule of law, human rights and western democracy. That is why I am putting forward my skill and experience to be judged by all European voters in Finland. Europe needs to go back to its future – and that is why I am running for the European Parliament.

At the end of this essay, you will find my election platform condensed to bullet points. You can skip to them past my essay, but to know my thoughts, you may wish to join me over a few pages on my road trip through Europe. En route, I hope to open up my thinking on where Europe is headed and what kind of European Union I want to build as an MEP.

Journey through Europe

I remember vividly the start of my first journey across Europe in 2000. I was in the back seat of my family’s Rover 416Si in the port of Tallinn and our goal was in Hungary, the summer home of family friends. This was my first touch of the wider world.

Many things felt different and exciting. Road traffic was different. Even the houses looked different. Plenty of white brick, which made it look like someone forgot to paint the walls. Time itself seemed to have stopped.
We were stopped at the Latvian border, and for longer at the Lithuanian/Polish frontier, but we finally reached Hungary. A country that I liked a lot: the year before, my music class had been twinned with one from Budapest, and during their stay in Espoo, I learned some words of Hungarian. Words that we spoke between singing and rehearsals.

Hungary was warm, the ice cream was plentiful and cheap and the green grass was perfect for football. On the market in Balassagyarmat, I found for a small sum a shirt with the number 10 and Zidane inscribed on the back. It wasn’t genuine, but the feeling was.

My strongest memory from the trip was a flash-like moment from the journey itself. We were driving through a small Slovak mountain village. For the first time in my life, I saw little children, barefoot, on the road, begging for money. The children belong to a European minority group, whose fundamental rights are still not respected. There was silence and moist eyes in our car as we passed this scene.

It was not a political thought – I was only twelve at the time – but in my mind, I kept repeating, “why”?

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Info about Dimitri Qvintus
  • 36-year-old, married, father of two
  • Chairman of the Swedish-speaking district of the SDP
  • 10 years of political experience in Government and Parliament, including as personal advisor to PM Marin and PM Rinne
  • Currently employed in private sector as Director of strategic communications
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Kaapelintalo and Svenska Teatern
  • Lives in Helsinki. Born in Iisalmi
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Antti Rinne about Dimi

Through my work I have had the opportunity to get to know an exceptionally talented and empathetic man, Dimitri Qvintus. For more than a decade, Dimitri has worked alongside me, as a close colleague. He has a courageous and hard-working nature and looks at things and people with a big heart.

Dimitri, Dimi to our friends, is a quick learner. Behind this is a strong will to influence the world according to the values he has adopted. Dimi is one of those who truly wants to make the world a better place for all of us to live in. His ability and desire to make a difference goes beyond the borders of Finland. His good language skills and courage enable him to work and act in new, previously unknown situations.

A sharp intellect and quick understanding make this young person an unbeatable decision-maker. Dimi's good qualities are not limited to the world of work. Dimi is a happy and active family man whose actions in the children's everyday life are a pleasure to follow.
I am happy, sincere and willing to support and help this new generation of decision-makers in the European Parliament.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Monika Fagerholm about Dimi

I joined politics a few years ago when I decided to get serious about organising. I was particularly pleased when Dimitri Qvintus asked me to lead his citizens' delegation in the European elections, together with Antti Rinne. Dimi stands for things that I see as very important in the current social situation.

Election for the European Parliament will take place on 9 June. We all know what is at stake. The rule of law. And a democratic social order as we know it. Fascism is a real threat. The far right is predicted a landslide victory. And it is important that we all vote the right way. For parties that do not make concessions to gain short-sighted advantages, for example, by entering into partnerships with far-right parties.

The right, even the moderate right, has shown itself to be faltering on this point. Not only in Finland, but in Sweden and other countries, the Right has shown that it is possible to bend its own principles and promises before elections. The Prime Minister speaks beautifully about keeping the far right at bay in the EU, but still opens the door to co-operation with the True Finns.

It is extremely dangerous if you start to draw the boundaries of what is fascism, for example, and what is not, according to your own agenda. That is how fascist parties have come to power, both now and in history.

If we believe in an open, fair and equal society according to social democratic principles, it is time to show it. It has never been more important than now.

We need to think big, to dare to have visions, and above all to put our visions into words about what a strong and open and humane Europe could look like. It is not at all clear that people will otherwise understand what we mean.

Above all, we need hope. Positive and constructive forward thinking, and also, when a cheerful energy is needed, a bit of a twinkle in the eye too.

Dimi, whom I have got to know as a politician over the past six months, I think stands for exactly this. Knowledge, vision, a young and new energy. And he is an excellent candidate for the Finland-Swedish.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Folke Sundman about Dimi

Dimitri Qvintus personifies the new generation within the SDP and FSD who are fully at home in the operating environment created by the new digitalised capitalism, but who at the same time anchor their view of the content of politics in the sustainable core values of social democracy - equality, solidarity, democracy.

Dimi already has the kind of political experience that many people need a lifelong career to achieve. But Dimi sees this as the basis for a stronger and deeper political commitment. The next step in his political work is to step up and make his political contribution as an elected official

Dimi is like a fish in water in his EU campaign. He knows what he is talking about, in several languages. He knows how the system works. And he knows that without a vision of how things can and should change, you will get nowhere.

I said last autumn at the Finlands Svenska Socialdemokrater's Congress in Jakobstad, when we nominated Dimi, that we would make him a new Jörn Donner. That's right. Jörn was the first Finnish-Swedish social democratic voice in the European Parliament. Now we will make Dimi the second.

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