Euneos courses in Helsinki and beyond

Helsinki calls! Not only Trump & Putin ;-). Euneos invites Erasmus+ grant holders to Helsinki Finland from August 2018 on. There are still places in most Euneos courses. Check them all in

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European SMEs will love GDPR – I doubt

The new EU data protection regulation GDPR is marketed as a solution to the privacy of citizens. I guess not? What if the result will be the opposite? GDPR can be a threat to small and medium-sized companies who are scared of the sanctions for breaching the regulation. Sanctions are at the lowest of 4% of net sales and at most millions.

Large companies can easily put their databases and data protection to the level required by GPDR by using experts. But it’s not as easy to do for small and medium-sized businesses that are alone in Europe hundreds of thousands. Most of them will probably leave the whole matter untouched.

In eight EU countries, national legislation has no time to enforce the regulation on the due date 25 May 2018. In Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, so far, the former situation continues. See when these countries are ready to boost GDPR. Or are they ever?

According to GDPR, for example, sending an ad to a recipient is possible when a verifiable authorization is obtained. In the ears of consumers suffering from spam, this may sound good. But for the advertising company, it may not be so good, understandably.

Isn’t there a contradiction in the regulation? An SME can’t reach a potential customer by email without having a business relation before. Contact information is not enough. There should be verifiable authorization about the confirmation of the contact too. How can European SMEs handle with this?

I suspect that SMEs have not been great spammers ever since. Email marketing has overwhelmingly been the business of the big American companies with huge databases and customer registers. Few small companies in Europe really know how to market online.

It seems to me that the EU data protection regulation has the opposite effect in this respect than what was the purpose of the regulation. It does not improve the situation of SMEs in Europe but rather benefits global players Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc.

When the cam releases, the tail catches. So when sending e-mails for SMEs becomes more difficult, their marketing and trading will change. Facebook and Google will become increasingly important trading venues and marketing tools.

Many European SMEs are now considering whether to send email or switch to Facebook. Advertising in FB costs. But if a company has sanctions from marketing against GDPR in Facebook, then Zuckerberg will pay fines.

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Finland dreams about being a passage from the Arctic Sea to the EU

Mrs Anne Berner, the minister of transport and communications, made a contribution to the discussion about arctic connections of Finland. Her output might accelerate the debate not only on issues of traffic but also on climate change and protection of environment.

Finland happens to preside the Arctic Council of northern countries for the time being, and this small country – without a real corridor to the Arctic Ocean – dreams about a decisive role as a passage of transport from east and west to south.

Finland has actually no passage of its own to the Arctic Sea having lost Petsamo to the Soviet Union in WW2. So, how to get to the arctic waters, the Barents Sea? Three different routes were presented to Mrs Berner by a work group that prepared possible solutions.

All routes started from Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland in the northernmost Finland.

The eastern route went to Murmansk, a Russian city of about 350 000 inhabitants, mostly over Russian territory. The western route led to the Norwegian coast at the Atlantic, partly in Finland and partly in Norway.

The middle route followed mostly the domestic Finnish land up north to the border of Norway from where it was directed to Kirknäs, a smaller Norwegian city at the Barents Sea. Of course, it’s the Norwegians who say if any trail connection can be built on the side of Norway.

A railway track would be almost 1 500 km from Kirknäs to Tallinn. There is an existing rail connection from Rovaniemi to Helsinki, about 900 km. The distance between Helsinki and Tallinn Estonia is 80 km.

Unfortunately, there is the Finnish Bay of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Estonia. A mission impossible to build a railway track? No, Finns are audacious enough to face this challenge by planning to build a tunnel under the sea. Is it only a dream? Are they alone with their plan?

No, all big players in the world politics are interested in benefitting from the new chances which the meltdown of glaciers in the Polar area opens for business, transfer of goods but also for exploitation of arctic oil and gas. China is involved in the game.

The whole Russia lives by selling oil and natural gas. The Russians have vast resources of fossile energy at their northern coasts. They possibly wait for a chance to sell more oil and gas at a better price.

China has a second Silk Road strategy, which aims at using the arctic route for transfer of Chinese goods. A couple of years ago they made a big bargain about purchase of Russian oil. And China might be even more interested in Russian natural gas, which is better for their environment than crude oil.

For obvious reasons, there are politicians and business people in Finland who think that the time is ripe to realise the connection from the Arctic Sea to Europe over Finland, even under the Baltic Sea.

However, globalisation is not a simple process. Would the arctic connection speed up transition to renewable energies? Probably not. It seems more possible that the result would be more burning of oil, gas and coal. And more carbon dioxide in the air.

That would be contradictory to what our common atmosphere can take in. If they don’t feel that in Moscow yet, the people of Beijing may be better aware. But do people ever have their say?

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Finnish schools follow integrated curriculum 2016

Winter is gone. Hurry up! Meet Helsinki in May! Are Finnish schools really giving up subjects? What is multidisciplinary teaching like? Few places only in #ErasmusPlus course Integrated curriculum 13-19 May 2018,

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Fiorentina played in memory of Il Capitano

It was raining cats and dogs when Fiorentina played in the Serie A a match against Benevento on Sunday, 11 March 2018 in Florence. The match was a ”bigger than life” event at the football field, at least for myself. In addition to the game, a great deal of culture, tradition and Florentine community spirit was associated with it.

Fiorentina now played without its captain, Davide Astori, whose funeral was at the Santa Croce church in Florence on Thursday 8.3. He had died of a heart failure at the age of 31, which was a shock to players and football fans everywhere.

Hardly any other football club than Fiorentina could have created a more emotional and impressive event in memory of its player. The club has not got its name from flowers, “i fiori”, without reason. It’s really beautiful how Fiorentina and its fans act, without big gestures and elegantly.

“The Captain forever,” read a huge banner on the playfield, and banderols with texts “Capitano con noi” and other banners were spread along the walls of fan audiences, dedicated to Davide’s memory. The purple-red colors of Fiorentina and Florence had captured the whole view. Approximately 40,000 viewers were equipped with purple-red rain showers and scarves, and the choreography included purple flags and balloons.

Speeches were not made, only normal match announcements. The fan club of the north curve, Curva Fiesole, took care of the program. The song to Fiorentina, shared by all audience, other support songs and rhythmic applauses, a common lifting of hands to the sky where hundreds of white and purplish balloons were released, smokes burst in the colors of Fiorentina camouflaging the whole fan audience… Impossible to describe everything.

As the 13th minute was played, the players stopped playing for a short while. Like magic, out of the Curva Fieso appeared violet flags, the center of which formed the name Davide and number 13, the number of his shirt, in white and red.

The captain was still there in the middle of memorial shields, made of flags, like a cover against fatal arrows of destiny, in the hearts of the fans. As the flags began to swing, it felt as if the wind had dimmed the surface of the water, and the feeling went through the whole human crowd.

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Helsinki attracts as #ErasmusPlus course venue

All Euneos courses in Helsinki this spring 2018 are confirmed. If your school still looks for an #ErasmusPlus course there are places in Euneos courses about migrants’ teaching, coaching strategies and integrated curriculum in Helsinki April and May 2018.

General benchmarking courses in Helsinki are full, and there are places only for autumn. Instead, there is an option of 3 days courses in Tallinn Estonia. And a few places are left in the course about benchmarking game-based learning in Helsinki and Tallinn 22-28 April 2018.

Finland, and especially Helsinki, has surprisingly become one of the favorite venues of #ErasmusPlus courses. Far ahead are the UK (429), Spain (361), Italy (340), Greece (227), Portugal (165) and Malta (138). Then comes Cyprus (77), only a few courses ahead of Finland (74).

There are 32 #ErasmusPlus member countries. Finland has the 8th position.

As other top countries, except for England, are in the south, one might ask what is the attraction of Helsinki, the capital of the nothernmost EU country, Finland.

Is it the reputation of Finnish school education? Many possibly know Finland as a constant top country of the PISA studies, don’t they?

Or do other Europeans know already that English is spoken in Helsinki as the ”third domestic language”, beside Finnish and Swedish?

Or is there some new strange attraction in the north as such ;-)?

Euneos, the Finnish course provider, has the best exolanation. The reason of attraction are our #ErasmusPlus courses, which we organise in Helsinki metropolitan area. Euneos courses have been very good advertisement for Finland since 2006.

Visit and let us convince you :-)!

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