European union


The Finnish parliament (Suomen Eduscunta)
Chaiperson: Paavo Lipponen
Members: 200

Parliamentary groupCentre Party
Information for the partyThe Centre Party (Finnish: Suomen Keskusta) is a centrist political party in Finland. The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party and subscribed to the liberal manifestos of these organisations. Its members in the European Parliament are member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
The party was founded in 1908 by Santeri Alkio and was then known as the Agrarian Party or Maalaisliitto. Nowadays the farmers have only a small portion of 5% of the votes given to the party and the Centre Party has the widest range in support when it comes to the professions. Even today rural Finland and small towns are the strongest support area for the Centre Party, but the party is making progress toward a breakthrough in the big cities. After the elections of 2003 the party formed a cabinet in coalition with Social democratic party of Finland and the small Swedish peopleís party.
However, it can be disputed whether it takes the positon of a liberal party in the Finnish spectrum, as it is among the most conservative in many issues especially by the veteran politicians, as well as the most pro-CAP party being the old agrarian party.

Parliamentary groupSocial Democratic Party of Finland
Information for the partyThe Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) is one of the most influential political parties in Finland. Since the disastrous Civil War in Finland of 1918, SDP lost some of its support, current gaining on average about one-quarter of the vote. The Social Democratic Party has about 59,000 members. Paavo Lipponen is party leader. Tarja Halonen was SDP's candidate, winning election to the presidency.

SDP won 53 of the 200 seats in Parliament in the March 16, 2003 elections, which ended in a very close run with the Center Party. As a result, SDP's chairman Paavo Lipponen has become the Speaker of Parliament. SDP has eight portfolios in the Cabinet.

Parliamentary groupNational Coalition Party
Information for the partyThe National Coalition Party ( okoomus ) was founded on December 9, 1918 at a time when Finlandís former party division had grown outdated as a result of the independence achieved by the nation in 1917. The guiding idea behind the establishment of the party was the achievement of national unity.
Throughout its history, three ideological emphases have co-existed within the party, those of social reformism, conservatism and liberalism. To this day, varying conservative ideological tendencies and classical liberal economic ideas exist side by side in the National Coalition.
In the European Parliament the National Coalition Party is represented by 4 MEP's out of the total 16 Finnish europarliamentarians. The National Coalition delegation to the European Parliament belongs to the group of the European Peopleís Party (EPP). The National Coalition is a full member of the EPP and the International Democrat Union (IDU) which is the global network of centre-right parties.

Parliamentary groupLeft Alliance
Information for the partyThe Left Alliance or Vasemmistoliitto is a political party in Finland. The party was founded in 1990.
Practically Left Alliance is a follower of the Finnish People's Democratic League, which was an "umbrella party" uniting most of the Finnish leftwing.
The largest member organization of People's Democratic League, with a share close to 90%, was Communist Party of Finland which went bankrupt in 1990. Practically all the activities were transferred to the new party.
In parliamentary elections, Left Alliance share of the vote has been close to 10%. Left Alliance had three portfolios in the two cabinets of Paavo Lipponen (1995-2003).
The current party chairperson is Suvi-Anne Siimes.

Parliamentary groupGreen League
Information for the partyThe Green League (Finnish: Vihreä liitto, Swedish: Gröna förbundet), is a green political party in Finland. The current chairman is Osmo Soininvaara. It was founded February 28th 1987, and registered as a political party the next year. The political activity had begun already in the early 1980s, when environmental activists, feminists and other active groups began to campaign on Green issues in Finland. In 1995 it was the first European Green party to be part of a state-level Cabinet.
The first two parliamentary representatives were elected before the registration, in the elections of 1983. These were the first independent representatives of the Finnish parliament. One of the fourteen Finnish representatives in the European Parliament is Green: Satu Hassi. Before the 2004 elections there were two: Heidi Hautala and Matti Wuori.
Vihreä liitto is no longer a protest party nor an alternative movement. The party has found its political home in liberal centre with a political agenda that is a mix of left, right, and new.

Parliamentary groupSwedish People's Party
Information for the partyThe Swedish People's Party (Svenska folkpartiet (SFP) in Swedish or Ruotsalainen kansanpuolue (RKP) in Finnish) is a Swedish minority and mainly liberal party in Finland. The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.
The Swedish People's Party was founded by Axel Lille in 1906, making it one of oldest parties in Finland. The leader of the party is Jan-Erik Enestam. The party receives its main electoral support from the Swedish speaking minority, which makes up about 5.6% of Finland's population. Despite its position as one of the minor political parties in the Finnish parliament it has frequently been one of the partners forming the governing coalition cabinets. SFP has not been in opposition since 1976 -- a remarkable achievement for a such a small party.
The SFP has as its main raison d'être the protection and strengthening of the position of Swedish in Finland.

Parliamentary groupChristian Democrats
Information for the partyThe Christian Democrats (Kristillisdemokraatit or Kristdemokraterna) is a political party in Finland. The party was founded in 1958, chiefly of the Christian faction of the Conservative National Coalition Party.
The name was initially Finnish Christian League (Suomen Kristillinen Liitto or Finlands Kristliga Förbund). Many of the party activists are not from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, but other Protestant groups.
The Christian Democrats have a tendency of forming alliances other parties during elections. Their success in elections is mainly determined by their success in the alliances, as their own voter base is stable and loyal.

Parliamentary groupTrue Finns
Information for the partyTrue Finns or Perussuomalaiset is a populist party in Finland. The Finnish Agrarian Party was founded in 1959 and renamed to the True Finns in 1995, the year Finland joined the European Union.
The founder of the party was Veikko Vennamo, leader of a faction in the Agrarian League (which was renamed to Centre Party in 1965). The relations of Veikko Vennamo and Urho Kekkonen were icy at best, and after Kekkonen was elected president in 1956 Vennamo decided to start a party on his own.
The Agrarian Party started as a protest movement, with support from small farmers and the unemployed. The main carrying force was Vennamo, who was charismatic, a good orator and a skilled negotiator. The Agrarian Party sometimes even managed to join the cabinet. Vennamos son, Pekka Vennamo, became the party leader when his father retired. Vennamo Junior had neither the charisma nor the oratory skills of his father. Other parties noticed this, and the Agrarian Party was taken again into the cabinet. A protest movement without a charismatic leader, burdened with ministers participating in unpopular coalitions, the party gradually lost its support.
Agricultural changes proved hard for small farmers, who sold their farms and moved to the cities. Communists and Social Democrats were more credible alternatives for the unemployed. Finally, the declining support of Agrarian Party forced Vennamo Junior to resign. Some of the members of parliament joined the Centre Party and others retired with Vennamo.
After this, the party has been trying build a new base. The populist movement is currently anti-establishment and anti-immigrant. In the 2003 parliamentary elections, the party gained three seats. This minor victory has been attributed to the oratory skills of the party leader Timo Soini and the personal charisma of the show fighter Tony Halme.

unicameral parliament
faction: 200

factionCentre Party
factionSocial Democratic Party of Finland
factionNational Coalition Party
factionLeft Alliance
factionGreen League
factionSwedish People's Party
factionChristian Democrats
factionTrue Finns