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Speech by Sanna Marin as the outgoing Government visits the President of the Republic on 20 June 2023

Government Communications Department
Publication date 20.6.2023 15.27
Photo of Sanna Marin

Sanna Marin spoke on the outgoing Government’s farewell visit to the Presidential Palace on 20 June 2023. Speech to be checked against delivery.

Arvoisa tasavallan presidentti

Ärade rebublikens president

Mr President

This will be the last visit by the Government you appointed in December 2019. Our Government’s objective has been to build a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable society. Our term in office has been an exceptional one, but despite the historically challenging years, we managed to bring about many significant reforms. 

Over the course of this government term, we extended compulsory education and made upper secondary education genuinely free of charge for all young people. We implemented a health and social services reform, amended the Transgender Act, and carried out a family leave reform that promotes equality between families. Through broad-based cooperation, we prepared a new Climate Change Act and drew up roadmaps for a carbon-neutral society. We invested in research, development and innovation and strengthened employment services. There are now 110 000 more employed people in Finland than there were at the beginning of the government term, and we have reached our Government's target of a 75 per cent employment rate. 

This government term was overshadowed by successive years of crisis. First, the global COVID-19 pandemic isolated us from each other in an unprecedented way. Together with you, Mr President, we were forced to declare a state of emergency and introduce the Emergency Powers Act for the first time in peacetime Finland. The COVID-19 crisis affected us all, but Finland came out of it with less harm to human health and the economy than many of our reference countries. By providing timely and adequate support to people and businesses and by introducing recovery measures, we managed to soften the blows to our economy and boost our ability to recover.

In February 2022, Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine that has endangered the security and stability of all of Europe. Finland, along with the international community, immediately condemned the illegal invasion, and the European Union stood united from the very beginning of the war. The EU has prepared and implemented a number of extensive packages of sanctions and assistance. Russia will not win its illegal and brutal war. Finland will continue to support Ukraine 

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a fundamental change has taken place in the security and operating environment of Finland and Europe. As a nation, we had to decide on Finland’s position in a new situation. The decision to apply for NATO membership together with Sweden was made with strong popular support and parliamentary consensus. On behalf of the outgoing Government, I would like to thank you for our close cooperation. I would also like to thank Parliament for its effective cooperation throughout the government term.

Mr President,

On our Government’s first visit in December 2019, I told you that we wanted to strengthen Finnish people’s trust in the future. At the time, we had no idea what kinds of crises we would face and how this trust would be tested. However, crises have also shown that we Finns are persistent. Our society has resilience, which we have built through fair solutions and joint agreements, and by taking care of each other. I hope we can cherish these principles at all times.

Arvoisa tasavallan presidentti

Ärade rebublikens president

Mr President

Den avgående regeringens vägnar tackar jag er för ett gott samarbete och för den erkänsla ni visat oss.

Nyt työnsä päättävän hallituksen puolesta kiitän teitä hyvästä yhteistyöstä ja meille osoittamastanne arvostuksesta.

On behalf of the resigning Government, I would like to express my gratitude for our cooperation and for the support you have given us.