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New parliamentary session opens

President for continuation of security discussions

25 Apr 2019, 20:32 ( 4 Months ago) | updated: 25 Apr 2019, 20:34 ( 4 Months ago)

DF Report
President Sauli Niinistö inaugurated the session of new parliament on Thursday. Photo Finnish parliament by Kimmo Brandt.

President Sauli Niinistö on Thursday emphasised the necessity for continuation of security discussions jointly with the parliamentary parties during the tenure of the new parliament.

Expressing concern over the security situation across the globe, the President also underscored the need for close cooperation among the member states in the European Union in this regard.

“The world is full of anger and evil. Suffering caused by terrorism was most recently experienced in the bloodbath of Sri Lanka over Easter. The weapons never fall silent around the world. Calculating power policy has returned. The good must be steadfast. I would also like to repeat this to the new Parliament. Our security is something we should talk about together,” said Niinistö in his inaugural speech while opening the session of the new parliament.

He pointed out that during his term of office, he has had the habit of inviting the chairpersons of all parliamentary parties to a joint discussion. These discussions have focused especially on topics related to security, often sensitive issues, according to the written speech of the President sent by the President Office.

He also said that the tectonic plates of geopolitics are shifting, and Europe is facing external pressures and temptations from different directions.

“We can only thwart them together, within the framework of a well-functioning European Union. Otherwise we run the risk of allowing Europe to fall apart into different spheres of interest,” he said.

“Security is something else we have in common. It is one of the priorities of Finland's Presidency. There is no shortage of topics: combating terrorism, arms control, everything related to cyber and hybrid threats and artificial intelligence, climate change, migration – all issues that cannot be managed without close cooperation,” Niinistö added .

He also urged the political parties to narrow-down the gap on the issues of common interests of the nation.

“Before the election, differences are sought between competitors. Now you must seek the common interest of the nation. Rather than widening the gaps, your task here is to bridge them, to take care of our common issues,” he said, adding, “there are plenty of hard boards in front of you. You can only cope with this work together”.

Stressing the importance of commitment, he said that at the individual level, this applies to both the lawmakers and the government members to be appointed and to the lawmakers.

“At the party level, the Government undertakes to work together. The formal word to de-scribe the way the Government works is collegial; this means that the members of the Government make decisions and stand behind them together,” said the President.

He also pointed out the Social and Healthcare Reforms or the so called Sote reform policy undertook by the last government.

“It has been striking to hear, also outside the context of the health and social services reform, the Government Programme or a decision made by the Government being char-acterised as something that was ´our demand´, whereas that was ´proposed by them`. It is equally striking when you hear a Government decision being described as `just the policy of this or that minister`.”