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The 100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democracy to be celebrated by flying the Finnish flag and with public events at SuomiAreena

Government Communications Department 11.7.2019 14.45 | Published in English on 11.7.2019 at 17.03
Press release 379/2019

Finland was established as a constitutional democracy one hundred years ago. To celebrate this, Wednesday 17 July has been designated as a national flag day. On the same day, a seminar will be held at the SuomiAreena public debate forum to discuss the meaning of constitutional republic as the cornerstone of the Finnish democracy and society. Keynote speakers at the seminar include Speaker of Parliament Matti Vanhanen, Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä and Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson.

Public events at SuomiAreena in Pori

On Wednesday 17 July at 10 there will be a public event at SuomiAreena in Pori entitled ”The powers of the State in Finland are vested in the people – One hundred years as a constitutional democracy”. Professor Henrik Meinander and Member of Parliament Ilkka Kanerva will discuss the theme at the Kansalaistori Square in Pori, moderated by Journalist Olli Seuri.

Also on the same day, there will be a seminar at the University Consortium of Pori with the title “Finland as a constitutional republic 1919 – Paving the way for Finnish democracy”. The seminar, to be opened by Speaker of Parliament Matti Vanhanen and moderated by Olli Seuri, will discuss the role of the 100-year-old constitutional republic in building the Finnish society from various perspectives. The closing address will be given by Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä, deputising for the Prime Minister. The speakers at this event will be Professor Henrik Meinander, Member of Parliament Ilkka Kanerva, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Tuula Haatainen and Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson.

The 100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democracy will also be the theme of the traditional reception for invited guests given by the City of Pori.

100 years as a constitutional democracy

The Parliament of Finland 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.

Our form of government has guided the work to build Finland into a modern rule of law state. The Constitution protects the fundamental rights of citizens, including the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.

The 100th anniversary of constitutional democracy is the last in the chain of years celebrating Finland’s path to independence and building of our democratic society and nation. 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 [email protected], tel. +358 50 329 4283 and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, [email protected], tel. +358 40 536 4821, Prime Minister’s Office