Archive and Chronology of Finnish Foreign Policy

Speech by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö to the new Government at the Presidential Palace on 20 June 2023

Esteemed Prime Minister, Distinguished Members of Government

I congratulate you, Prime Minister, on the confidence that Parliament has placed in you. You will be heading the 77th Government since Finland gained its independence.

Your Government begins its term of office at a very difficult time. The war in Ukraine has shifted to a new, more intensive phase. The future and security of Europe are being put to the test.

Finland must be able to continue its strong support for Ukraine as part of the common Western front, while taking good care of our own national defence. Each country maximizes its own security. And so does Finland. But we no longer do this work alone but as part of NATO alliance. As a new NATO member, we have a major task in integrating our defence with the collective NATO defence and deterrence.

You have also other challenges ahead of you: The state of the Finnish economy is weak. We need to seek new growth and keep up with the latest technological development. Know-how and unhindered access to global markets are the lifeline of a small nation.

At the same time, we must restore sound public finances.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are picking up speed. We can no longer afford to hesitate, but decisions must be made today, also globally.

Finland is a good country. One of the world’s leading countries according to many indicators. So, let us ensure together that our common homeland will remain that way also for the generations coming after us.


Even before, I have reminded new Governments about the great importance of unity and mutual trust. In the Government, decisions are made collegially; the Government makes its decisions together and is collectively responsible for its decisions. When difficult decisions are being made, your Government´s collegiality will certainly be put to the test as well.

Especially in difficult times, unity and cooperation are the resources that carry through hardship. Therefore, I believe that our cooperation in foreign and security policy will be close.

As I said to the resigned Government, in foreign policy, on my own behalf I am ready to continue the established practise of meetings between the President of the Republic and the parliamentary committees on your government term as well.

Prime Minister, Distinguished Members of Government

You are facing an exceptionally demanding task. I wish you strength, wisdom and success in your efforts on behalf of Finland and its citizens.