Archive and Chronology of Finnish Foreign Policy

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

Esteemed Member of Parliament Marin

I thank you for your kind words. I would also like to thank you and your entire Government for your work and our good cooperation during these difficult years.

When appointing your Government in December 2019, I said that the world around us is unstable and that it is becoming harder and harder to predict developments in world politics.

This prediction turned out to be true in many ways during your government term. First COVID-19 and then the Russian war in Ukraine showed in a tangible way how surprising the world is and what kind of instability, even dangers, this causes.

Still, even though the circumstances have been difficult, we have succeeded in securing the most important thing: the security of Finland and its people.

Like before, we Finns have tackled these crises together. Finland is capable of rapid and efficient decision-making even under exceptional circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of emergency was declared twice, and worst human suffering was prevented due to the powers provided under those conditions. The decision to join NATO was made rapidly but not before it had undergone broad-based and careful national preparation and debate. In our support for Ukraine, we have been standing in tight Western front.

At the same time, the crises encountered by our society have also shown the strength of Finnish democracy. The main important foreign and security policy decisions were made and will continue to be made in cooperation with Parliament. Foreign policy does not change from one electoral period to another but requires a long, stable line of policy.

During your government term, I met many parliamentary committees, about thirty times in total. These meetings, where both the government and opposition parties are represented, have already become an established tradition and a very useful way of maintaining a common situation picture. As some of you will be part of the opposition, these common meetings also contribute to ensuring that there is continuity in the Finnish foreign policy as the new Government is starting its work.

Esteemed Member of Parliament Marin

I thank you and your government for your efforts on behalf of Finland and wish you every success in your future duties.