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100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democracy

Government Communications Department 30.4.2019 10.10 | Published in English on 30.4.2019 at 11.37
Press release 220/2019

This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democracy, laid down by the Constitution Act. Together with the Parliament Act, Election Act and Municipal Election Act adopted earlier, this has guided the work to build the Finnish society and Finland as a whole into a modern rule of law state.

The Finnish Parliament adopted the Constitution Act of Finland in June 1919, and it was confirmed by the Regent of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim on 17 July 1919. The Constitution Act, together with the Parliament Act, Election Act and Municipal Election Act adopted earlier, laid the foundation for Finland’s democracy. The Constitution Act was in force until the new Constitution of Finland was adopted in 2000.

The 100th anniversary of Finland's constitutional democracy in 2019 is the last one of the special years for Finland’s independence and the process to build our democratic society and state. In 2016 Finland celebrated the 110th anniversary of the parliamentary reform that implemented universal and equal suffrage. This is when Finnish women, as the first ones in the world, gained full political rights, suffrage and the right to stand as candidates in elections. Next year, in 2017, Finland celebrated the 100th anniversary of independence, and 2018 was the commemorative year of the Civil War, a very tragic chapter in the history of our independence. The 100th anniversary of Finland's constitutional democracy celebrates our democratic state and society, parliamentary decision-making and fundamental rights of citizens.

The 100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democracy will be celebrated during next summer and autumn. The anniversary day is 17 July 2019, which this year is also one of the official flag days. Most of the official celebrations and other events will take place in September. On Tuesday 10 September the 100th anniversary of Finland's constitutional democracy will be celebrated at the Parliament, and on certain days during the same week the Presidential Palace, Parliament Building, Government Palace and House of the Estates will have an open house. In September the National Archives and National Museum will also have special exhibitions and programmes relating to constitutional democracy.

Inquiries: Tiina-Kaisa Laakso-Liukkonen, Production Manager, tel. +358 50 329 4283, Prime Minister’s Office.