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The President of the Republic of Finland: Position and Duties: Public Appearances

The President of the Republic of Finland

Public appearances

The President makes speeches, issues statements and greetings, grants interviews, gives press conferences and makes other public appearances that are necessary and appropriate to perform official duties. The President honours various events by attending them.

Official visits abroad or by a foreign Head of State to Finland generally involve the President making one or more speeches. Often the President also meets media representatives during visits and trips.

The President gives dozens of speeches at different occasions each year. These are available on this website. Regular speeches include the President's New Year's Speech and speeches at the opening and closing of Parliament.

New Year’s Speech

New Year’s Speech is held on 1 January. President P.E. Svinhufvud’s in 1935 was the first to be broadcast. The first to be televised was in 1958, when Urho Kekkonen was President. Prime Minister Esko Aho stood in for President Mauno Koivisto in 1993.

Speeches in Parliament

The Constitution requires the President to declare each Annual Session open and the last Annual closed. This is done in a speech at each opening and closing ceremony.

The opening and closing ceremonies begin with a service of worship in the Lutheran Cathedral, after which the President proceeds to the Parliament Building. The first speech there is made by the President, after which the Speaker replies. The order of speeches at a closing ceremony is the reverse.

Other speeches

Since 1950 the President has declared the annual Common Responsibility collection of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland officially open by speaking on radio and later also on television. This is usually done on the first Sunday in February.

From 1945 to 2005 the President has officially announced the beginning of War Invalids’ Week and the Autumn Collection for War Invalids by speaking to the nation on the radio and later also on television. The Autumn Collection for War Invalids was held for the last time in 2005.

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Updated 2/21/2012

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