President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinistö’s speech to the outgoing Government, 6 June 2019

Esteemed Minister Sipilä,

Let me thank you for your kind words. I would also like to thank you and the Members of your Government for our very smooth cooperation. We have been able to have straightforward conversations and contemplate many solutions together. Communicating with you has been easy-going, helpful and pleasant.

Your term of office has not been easy. Developments in the world, in international politics and in the European Union have made the environment rather unsettled. We have often thought there could no longer be more surprises. Yet, something new has always come up. Finland has, however, managed to steer a steady course, even in these trying times.

Balancing the economy has been a priority for your government. As I predicted four years ago, you heard a lot about what definitely should and definitely should not be done. The economy and employment are at record high levels for this decade, so you certainly got things done!

Esteemed Members of the outgoing Government,

There is a lot of good in Finland: freedom, democracy, prosperity. We are staggeringly successful in almost every imaginable international comparison that measures positive qualities. We have many reasons to be happy and equally many reasons to hold on to all the good that we have achieved.

You have taken major steps in security issues during your term of office. Your Government introduced several bills to Parliament that have improved our ability to respond to any security-related challenges, both internal and external, that we may face. We must be steadfast when defending the good we have.

My intention is to continue our now customary meetings with the party leaders and the parliamentary committees. The meetings will be attended both by the government and the opposition, of which some of you will now become part of. The value of these discussions is to seek a shared understanding of demanding external challenges. You are welcome to join in.

Esteemed Minister Sipilä,

I would like to thank you and the Ministers of your Government for the work you have done for our country. I wish you success and good fortune in your future duties.