The new Government visits the President of the Republic on 6 June 2019

Valtioneuvoston viestintäosasto 6.6.2019 15.40
Speech

Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s address to the President of the Republic

(Check against delivery)

Mr President,

Ärade republikens president

In April, the Finnish people voted for their new Members of Parliament. As always, the elections altered the relative strengths of the parliamentary groups. The Social Democratic Party gained the highest number of seats in Parliament and became the party to lead the government formation talks.

From the outset, people who were not involved in the talks told us the set-up would be difficult, some said even impossible. I know from experience that you shouldn't declare anything to be too difficult, let alone impossible, since it that only takes the energy away from finding the solutions.

The parties that entered into the coalition talks were the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Greens, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party. These five parties were good at working together. Rather than leaving our opinions with our jackets in the House of the Estates cloakroom, we took to the negotiating table not only our values but also our problem-solving skills and a spirit of cooperation.

On top of that foundation, we created a forward-looking Government and a Programme that focuses on what lies ahead of us. Our new Government has a strong mandate from the people to draw up future-oriented policy and build a Finland that relies on sustainable development.

The Government unveiled its Programme at Oodi, Helsinki’s new central library. Directly to the people of Finland, at the gateway to learning and culture. Libraries are also connected to an important Finnish principle: Whatever we borrow, we must return in good condition.

Mr President,

Never before in parliamentary elections have climate change solutions stimulated as much debate as they did now. According to an old Finnish saying, ‘If you want to go fast, you have to go alone; but if you want to get far, you have to go together.’

When it comes to mitigating climate change, we have to go far – and fast. Together, our Government members have committed to this goal. A climate crisis is threatening all of humanity, and we take it very seriously. Besides doing it for our children and future generations, we are doing it because it is right and because this is the time to act. Come the 2030s, we can no longer keep asking whether we should have done something earlier.

This Government is committed to responsible economic policy and employment policy. We are committed to reinforcing Finland’s competitiveness and employment. That is why we have decided to carry out major investments and reforms concerning skills, education and research for the future. A competent nation is a successful nation.

The new Government will pay due attention to equality. We will decrease inequality and narrow the gaps in income. This is important because the Finnish welfare state has always drawn strength from the idea that we are all in the same boat. That every person's individual wellbeing benefits all of us.

Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, beginning in July, will provide us with a great opportunity. Finland will take its place at the forefront of the Union, playing an active, influential and cooperative part among the Member States. We are committed to an active foreign policy, which the President of the Republic will lead in cooperation with the Government.

This Government is committed to an understanding that fair and just policies for the future will deliver us a better tomorrow, in Finland, in Europe and globally.

Mr President,

Ärade republikens president

På den tillträdande regeringens vägnar tackar jag Er för Er hälsning och det stöd Ni utlovat. Jag ber Er ta emot regeringens hälsning och försäkran om dess högaktning.

On behalf of the new Government, I would like to express my warmest thanks for your kind words and promise of future support. Please accept the Government's greeting and assurances of highest consideration.

Antti Rinne