Address to top government representatives and top officials by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö on 1 March 2012

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Mr Prime Minister, I would like to extend my cordial thanks to you for the congratulations and wishes of success you have expressed on your own and the Government’s behalf.

In accordance with the affirmation I have given in Parliament today, I will, in the office of President, sincerely and faithfully comply with the Constitution and laws of Finland, and further the prosperity of the Finnish people to the best of my ability.

The most recent amendments to our Constitution enter into force today. The provision concerning authority in international matters and leadership in foreign policy remained unchanged. For my own part, I affirm my wish to work closely with the Government in this area. It is in Finland’s interest that we present a consistent and unified front in foreign and security policy.

International trends today make national cooperation more essential than ever. The dominant position of the western world in the global context is facing an inevitable decline. Changes in demographics and the increasing international political influence of emerging economies mean that for Finland, the challenges of internationalisation are by no means over – they are only just beginning.

To the representatives of Åland present today I would like to say that my aim is to engage in close interaction with you regarding the autonomy and well-being of your region.

The strengths of the Finnish civil service are in its observance of the principles of public service and good governance, and in solid and competent expertise. I am prepared to work towards safeguarding these strengths in our society.

On this day, I would like to extend my greetings to each and every one of you, and to wish you success in your work and your duties, for the benefit of the Finnish people and our country.