At Tuesday's Ambassadors' Day on Tuesday, President Sauli Niinistö criticized the harsh criticism of the repeated circumvention of the EU treaties.

He highlighted, in particular, the crisis measures, first identified in the euro crisis and now in the interest rate crisis, which have repeatedly stretched the Union's treaty clauses.

As the President recalled, EU countries did not have to be indebted beyond the agreed limits, countries did not have to take on responsibilities that belonged to each other, central banks did not have to finance government debt and the EU did not have to finance their budget spending with debt.

The tone of the rhetorical “did it so” question spoke the answer.

Over the years of the crisis, all those bans have been circumvented in EU decision-making by inventing new interpretations of the treaty.

Friends of the EU other than the President should also be concerned about the legitimacy, credibility and credibility of the Union in the eyes of the citizens if the EU continues to loosen its own rule base.

But while criticism of the laxity of the EU's treaty discipline falls on the nail, and while concerns about the EU's legitimacy are justified, the president still longs for an EU that is unlikely to return.

In particular, the crisis of the last ten years or so has changed the nature of the EU to such an extent that the ideal of a community of reliable member states that respect the treaties and a solid treaty base can seem like a dream of the past world.

Quite so bluntly, however, Prime Minister Sanna Marin did not express this when she rejected and evaded the president's criticism of the EU during the same ambassadors' day.

However, the Prime Minister underestimated the circumvention of the EU agreements and instead emphasized the EU's ability to act and unity as important interests for Finland as well.

The President's EU position can be considered ideal, and the Prime Minister's position practical. Both positions can be supported, but not at the same time and on the same grounds.

The Treaties - and President Niinistö - demand more from the EU and the EU countries than they can afford. Practical everyday reality - and Prime Minister Marin - are in favor of measures that seem to require a stretch of the treaty clauses.

It is precisely from this difference in ideals and practical measures that the contradictions of Finland's EU line also arise. For years, the EU line of the Finnish governments has been pursuing contractual discipline, but Finland itself has still taken part in stretching the agreements.

It is therefore good that the President is pushing for a critical EU debate in Finland. It would be even better if the Prime Minister took up the challenge and not just dodged a difficult subject.

Photo: Seppo Kärki / IS