Now that I have left the office of the President of the Republic, I would like to thank all of you and the bodies you represent for the support and help you have given me in the discharge of my duties. I am confident that you will enjoy equally fruitful cooperation with the new President of the Republic. I would also like to thank you all for your valuable work for Finland and the people of Finland.
Mr Prime Minister, I have enjoyed close and functional cooperation with your government. I wish you and your government the best of success in promoting the best interest of the Finnish people. The time ahead is likely to involve many challenges for our country. Nonetheless, I am confident that we can conquer any adversities through careful consideration and genuine cooperation among the different actors in society.
Respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law are the founding pillars of a modern state. Good governance allows people to experience these in their everyday lives. The stability and integrity of our judicial system and civil service are vital for good governance. Finnish authorities enjoy a high degree of trust and we should do our best to ensure that this remains true in the rapid changes of today’s world. Success in our own country translates into a stronger voice in international arenas.
The President of the Republic is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces are facing inevitable changes. My positive experiences of cooperation with the Defence Forces and their leadership leave me convinced that these changes can be implemented in a way that does not compromise the security of the nation and the lives of those affected.
I would like to thank the Åland representatives for the warm welcome and hospitality I have received during my numerous visits to the Province. In my opinion our cooperation has been highly successful. It is my hope that any future developments in the position of Åland promote the happiness of its people, and I am confident that the Province will remain an encouraging example also in the international context.
I would like to wish you every success in your work for good of the people of Finland.