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Building Europe with Local Councillors
News article8 May 2024Directorate-General for Communication1 min read

In media interview Finnish member explains that BELC supports her work as local councillor

BELC member Riikka Huotari - Sotkamo Finland

BELC member Ms Riikka Huotari represents Sotkamo municipality, in the northeastern Kainuu county of Finland. In a recent interview with, the news portal promoting the voice of local people and communities, Ms. Huotari spoke about her work in Finland as a representative of BELC. She explained that the local councillors’ European network helps local politicians to cooperate and share information with their counterparts around the EU on a range of topics that are of interest to their constituents.

As the only resident from Kainuu to join the BELC network, Ms. Huotari said that she is proud to represent Sotkamo and Kainuu county. “The European Union is important for the life of Finnish people and it is interesting to be involved in the discussions on the future of the Union,” she stated.

One of the ways Ms. Huotari stays in touch with other members of the network is through the Futurium platform. "There are over one thousand members now and there are a lot of different themes, including information packages, webinars and discussions on certain topic of interest on Futurium,” Ms Huotari said. As Finnish BELC members have been invited to Brussels this coming September to meet in person, Ms. Huotari is especially interested in meeting other local councillors and exchanging ideas with them.

Currently most of the discussions she has taken part in are about the upcoming European elections. It is hoped that more local politicians in small towns will see the benefits of joining the BELC network and be directly connected to the EU.


Publication date
8 May 2024
Directorate-General for Communication
  • Riikka Huotari
  • Finland, Sotkamo municipality, Kainuu county
  • Democracy and public participation