Message from the President of the Republic of Finland to Finnish expatriate communities on 6 December 2012

Copyright © Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

As we celebrate Finland’s 95th Independence Day, we take great pride in the stability and wellbeing of our native land.

Our prosperity depends on developments in our neighbouring areas, but also further afield. As a member of the international community, Finland contributes to global security and wellbeing. In recent years, our cooperation with the other Nordic countries has become closer than ever.

In a world of constant change, our job is to ensure that Finland maintains its stability and wellbeing in the future as well. This means that we must be able to renew ourselves in order to adjust to an ever-changing world, while holding on to our strengths and traditional values.

Our safe and prosperous society is built on the hard work of many generations. Our future success depends on how we foster the appreciation and competitiveness of Finnish work. This requires a combined effort from us all: we need to find new ways to increase exports and to attract more foreign investments.

These days, it has become more common for Finns to live abroad at some time in their lives, whether through study, employment or retirement. For the younger generation in particular, international mobility and openness to new experiences are self-evident. Many relocate with family members or start a family abroad. In Finnish expatriate families growing into internationality is something that happens naturally.

Some expatriate Finns return to Finland later on, while others choose to reside permanently in their new homelands. Being Finnish is nonetheless an important part of one’s identity, and in most cases, ties to Finland remain strong. Indeed, in their everyday lives, expatriate Finns are valued ambassadors for Finland and Finnish culture.

Fellow citizens abroad, I send my warm greetings to you and your families as we celebrate Finland’s Independence Day.

Sauli Niinistö
President of the Republic