Actions worthy of Finland
Competent growth | Work and subsistence | Finland as a whole | Reinforcing our foundation | Lifelong learning
Compassion and care | A welcome child | Prospects for young people | Dignified ageing | Facilitating basic social security
Realistic green principles | Climate control | Green economy | The best local food | Natural diversity
Assumption of responsibility | Our shared planet | Peace and security | A solution-ready EU | Safe and secure daily lives
Trust serves as the steadfast foundation of Finland’s well-being and success. Within a trusting society, hope, faith in the future and co-operation are stronger than fear, distrust and opposition. Women and men are working together, side-by-side, as equal members of society for the purpose of building this country.
The process of building trust requires persistent work. It requires actions that are worthy of Finland.
Finland shall always be a country in which:
- People have a safe everyday life and a strong sense of security.
- People have the freedom to make choices for themselves and their families.
- Each individual bears the responsibility for themselves and those around them to the extent they are able.
- Each person can trust in society when they are distressed or in need of help.
- Nature, society and the economy will be left in a better state for future generations.
- Everyone feels important and that they are getting their share of the country’s economic prosperity.
- Everyone has the opportunity to try and succeed.
- The society provides the foundation for a good life.
We pursue a society that rests on civilisation and lifelong learning; a society in which each person seeks to better themselves and acts for the common good. Everyone is capable of actions that are worthy of Finland.
The Finnish approach involves a search for reconciliation. Those with the most power within politics and the labour market also have the greatest societal responsibility to generate results. The Government and Parliament must especially defend those whose voices are drowned out by stronger voices.
Finnish democracy stands on a healthy foundation. Yet, we still need to bring the structures for decision-making and influence into the 2000s. The threshold for participation must be lowered. We want to increase the role of non-profit organisations and voluntary bodies.
Freedom of speech is non-negotiable. However, there is a need to improve the way we conduct social dialogue. People must comply with laws, practice good manners and assume responsibility for their actions, also online and in social media. Finland should be a nation in which people speak to one another with kindness.
We need to continue the policies of reform. Fast actions are necessary if we are to combat climate change. Working life calls for security and flexibility.
Finland should be the ideal place to start a family and a safe place to grow old. The prerequisites for a good life must be ensured across the country and for each and every one of its citizens.
A society of trust will also strengthen Finland’s position as an active international influential actor.
A sound economy is the cornerstone of well-being. We need environmentally responsible and socially sustainable economic growth. This calls for innovative and creative entrepreneurs and competent employees.
Competent growth is also inclusive growth. Everyone has a right and an obligation to contribute to the building of society in accordance with their individual capabilities. Everyone also has a right to his or her share of the results of the realised growth.
An education is a person’s most vital capital, from early childhood education to higher education. Everyone must have the possibility to get an education regardless of the thickness of their wallets or the location of their home.
Work and subsistence
Under the leadership of the Centre Party, more than 120,000 people found work during this electoral term. Work to maintain this trend must continue during the next electoral term as well. The goal of the Centre Party is for more than 100,000 people to find a job over the next four years, thereby increasing the employment rate to 75%. In order for this to be accomplished, there must be further advances in terms of providing employment, gaining employment and facilitating entrepreneurship. Efforts to do away with unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation shall continue.
Under the leadership of the Centre Party, the debt of the public economy has stopped growing. The goal for the next electoral term is to further reduce the relative indebtedness and see no growth in the amount of debt in euro. This would enable Finland to prepare for any possible future economic crises. The acquisition of fighter jets for the Defence Forces shall proceed in accordance with the agreement made among the parties, instead of setting services and benefits in opposition with the acquisition.
When companies succeed and people find work, the State and municipal treasuries also thrive. This is the only way to maintain and develop a welfare society.
Unemployment still impacts the lives of too many people and their families. For society, this translates into wasted competence and resources. The doors to working life must be opened to everyone. The long-term unemployed, partially disabled persons, disabled persons and other special groups need individualised solutions to find their path into working life. This can be accomplished by passage into the open labour market via social employment, subsidised employment in companies and more effective integration for immigrants. Often, it is a matter of changing the attitudes present in working life.
The concept of work is changing. For this reason, the labour market also needs to be updated. The Centre Party advocates a fair, equal, safe and flexible working life, where the employee and employer are both doing well, trusting in one another and reaching mutual agreements. An appropriate compensation for work is a must. The position of those who are self-employed shall be improved.
The concept of local agreements shall be expanded. Any obstacles and prohibitions shall be removed. Effective interaction between the employer and employee is a necessary prerequisite in order to reach agreements. The game rules for agreements must be established jointly.
Finland needs controlled labour immigration. The terms and conditions of employment must be the same for everyone. Residence permit practices for employees shall be simplified and clarified. The labour availability consideration for an employee’s residence permit shall be gradually abandoned.
Taxation should provide an incentive to work and to pursue entrepreneurial activities as well as to advance sustainable development. Taxation should treat all forms of entrepreneurship and self-employed persons equally. The taxation of entrepreneurs should not be constricted, but it should be moderately eased, for example, by increasing the entrepreneur deduction. Tax reductions on earned income tax shall be channelled to those with a small or average income. According to research, tax reductions allocated to small and average income recipients have increased jobs during this Government term under the leadership of the Centre Party. The prevention of climate change calls for a reform of Finland’s environmental taxation.
Jobs are created when companies renew and grow. Domestic ownership strengthens and stabilises the national economy. We want to encourage people in Finland to become shareholders.
Research and development investments should be increased to the level of four per cent of the gross domestic product by 2030. This means that both companies and the public sector will need to increase their RDI investments.
The best regional policy involves an increase in employment throughout all regions of Finland. During this electoral term, each region has seen an increase in the number of jobs. The Centre Party promises to continue its goal-oriented work to ensure that this positive development is sustained throughout the entire country. The regional reform brings the process of decision-making closer to the people it concerns and transfers more tasks to the regional level.
Finland’s success rests on how well the cities, urban areas and the countryside can draw on their own strengths and establish collaboration based on partnership. We must courageously take hold of the possibilities offered by these major changes. The sustainable use of renewable resources creates jobs and subsistence throughout Finland.
The regions may become differentiated, but they may not be allowed to become unequal. The vitality of the entire country must be maintained. Basic services and safety must be safeguarded for all people, regardless of where they live. All branches of administration must assume partial responsibility for the promotion of balanced regional development.
The Centre Party advocates everyone’s right to choose where to live based on their own wishes and life situation.
Urbanisation is a reality, but it must be sustainable. Residents in cities also have the right to affordable living. For this reason, publicly funded residential construction is still a necessity. More student housing should also be built. The inequality arising between the various city districts and residential areas must cease. The renovation of older residential properties for better accessibility and safety will improve the possibilities for the elderly and special groups to continue living in their own homes.
Taxation methods are also necessary as a means of strengthening the vitality of all areas and the equality of the citizens. Solutions must be found for handling the problem of homes that are emptying out as the population in specific areas decreases. If the asset value of these residences declines, the taxable value of the real estate should decrease correspondingly.
The built environment should support people’s well-being and health. The air should be healthy, also indoors. Expertise in indoor air quality shall be reinforced as part of the training for the construction industry. The qualifications and eligibility criteria for building inspectors shall be brought up to date. Effective moisture control shall be assured in all construction projects and at all building sites. Matters of responsibility in building and civil engineering must be solved in connection with the overall reform of the Land Use and Building Act.
People, goods and information must be able to move efficiently everywhere in Finland. Roadways, railways, fairways and airports must be kept in condition. It is necessary to continue to reduce their maintenance backlog. Apportionments from the State’s budget should be increasingly allocated to lower-level roads. Gravel roads and private roads also need to be maintained. In the model suggested by the Centre Party, funding for the new major, billion-euro traffic projects will be obtained from the market and the EU.
Functional and affordable data communication connections are a necessary condition for living, entrepreneurial pursuits and working. The building of the broadband network to all reaches of Finland shall continue. In addition to wireless connections, also fixed broadband connections via optical fibre are necessary.
The development of technology facilitates the ability to do work regardless of time or location. The Government should serve as a pioneer in this respect. Over the next two electoral terms, one goal should be to enable 5,000–6,000 employees of the Government and public sector, who currently work within the Helsinki metropolitan region, to work from other areas of Finland.
Primary school is our success story and distinctive mark of the level of equality in Finland. It is being threatened, however, by an increase in learning differences and disparity. Students in upper secondary education are showing deficiencies, even in terms of reading skills. More than 60,000 young people have become marginalised.
The foundations of Finland’s education system must be mended.
As one solution, the Centre Party suggests a reform to the early education system. The idea is for preschool and the first two years of comprehensive school to be combined to form the first educational stage for children, a ‘small children’s school’. The end of the second year of comprehensive school would serve as a point to examine the child’s mastery of the basic skills. The child would then flexibly move on upon achieving the basic skills. Within the reformed early education system, this first stage of schooling could also be completed in less than three years. This would contribute to diminishing any learning differences between students born in the early or late months of the year.
The upper limit for compulsory education after comprehensive school shall be increased to age 18. In addition to completing the curriculum for comprehensive school, students would also be required to acquire the skills needed for further studies.
Any young person who has dropped out of school under the age of 18 would be considered as not having the skills required for further studies. Thus, the municipality would direct this young person into a workshop programme, the supplementary ‘tenth’ class after comprehensive schooling, preparatory training or, for example, non-formal adult education programmes. Each young person shall be treated as an individual. Instead of schematic solutions, young people would receive tailored support measures that aim to help them to advance in education, working life and society in general.
Young people shall be guaranteed admission to the labour market by ensuring that they all complete at least some form of an upper secondary degree or qualification.
The training agreement concept shall be improved. One thousand new teachers and supervisors are needed within the vocational education sector to support learning within workplaces.
In the face of fast-paced changes taking place within working life, people are finding that they need new areas of competence, skills and support. This translates into an enormous need to retrain up to one million people over the next decade.
The focus in educational funding shall be shifted from the number of degrees to competence acquisition based on the principle of lifelong learning. Diverse options for retraining, upgrading and further education should be strengthened. Institutions of higher learning should promote the idea of lifelong learning more effectively.
Learning must be made limitless, ongoing and accessible regardless of location. One new solution is to offer higher education through a single platform. The portal would initially be an online service from where one could select suitable study modules provided by different higher education institutions.
Higher education should be accessible to everyone. We propose the establishment of a national higher education accessibility plan. Every region shall have at least one institution of higher learning.
The strong autonomy of institutions of higher learning safeguards research, teaching and independence. In the future, we shall continue to maintain the independence of scientific and academic work and safeguard resources for higher education institutions for the purpose of carrying out basic research.
Compassion and care
A person can suddenly lose everything. This obliges us, as a society, to ensure that no one is left having to fend for themselves. Help must always be available.
Compassion also refers to the prevention of poverty, marginalisation and inequality. Within a compassionate society, each citizen feels important. Everyone is encouraged to make the right choices to benefit of their own health and well-being. Sports and cultural services must be available to everyone. Public funds shall be used especially to support independent recreational activities that reach as many different population groups as possible.
A welcome child
Finland must become the world’s most child-friendly country; a country that understands the diversity of families. Decisions should always be made with consideration for the perspective of children and families.
The task of politics is to create hope for the future. The threshold for establishing a family is lowered when one’s livelihood and the other foundations of life are stable.
Families bear the primary responsibility for raising their children. For this reason, the freedom to choose the type of day care the child receives shall be safeguarded. Home care, day care centres and other forms of care shall be viewed as genuine options. The reform of family leave policies is a must. It must be an improvement from the perspective of children and families. The Centre Party will continue to advocate for the child home care allowance.
When families encounter difficulties, they should be assisted as a unit, in a timely fashion and flexibly, rather than providing support separately for children and adults. For this purpose, every municipality needs its own family centre.
There is a risk that family poverty will be passed from one generation to the next. Targeted actions are necessary if this risk is to be eliminated. We propose a discretionary increase in the child benefit that could be granted to low-income families who are struggling with financial difficulties. Local family policies can choose to allocate resources to schools and recreational activities in residential areas that house low-income families.
Municipal home care and family work should be brought back to the service portfolio to provide support for families. These services shall be available more rapidly and easily than they are today, for example, through the maternity and child welfare clinics and day-care centres.
Working life attitudes and practices shall support parenthood and the balance between family and work. Flexible working hours, possibilities for part-time work and remote work, and the concepts of working hour and holiday banks should be taken into broader use for the parents of young children, those caring for elderly family members or those otherwise stuck in the rush hour of life.
Prospects for young people
Every young person needs to experience dignity, success and inclusion. Some young people are in danger of missing out on these as well as becoming marginalised in society. In these cases, the immediate community and society in general must intervene. One adult who cares and walks beside them can be enough. Each young person should be provided opportunities and an individual path to a good life.
The foundation for a balanced and healthy life is established in childhood and youth. Therefore, the emphasis shall be shifted to the prevention of problems and provision of basic services. Mental health services shall be guaranteed at all levels of education up to and including higher education institutions. Those under the age of 25 should be guaranteed access to free contraception.
Multiprofessional services with a low threshold shall be made available to combat the problems encountered by young people. One-Stop Guidance Centres offering free support and assistance shall be integrated into local services and coupled closely with psychosocial services.
Conscription in the Defence Forces shall be developed into a system of 'future call-ups' for both young men and women. These would provide each young person with the opportunity to discuss and examine, together with professionals in a variety of fields, general well-being, future plans and matters related to military or civil service.
Immigrant youth and their families shall be supported in terms of education, language studies, employment and other areas of integration. Support persons representing the original population in Finland are needed to help immigrants with successful integration. More people with immigrant backgrounds shall be given the opportunity to enter into professions that are of essence in terms of supporting integration, such as teachers, social and youth workers and the police force.
Alongside families, schools also hold a key role in the teaching of basic and civil skills to young people. In order for young people to manage their own lives, they will need practical financial and job seeking skills, a command of the methods needed for participation and influence as well as media literacy skills. The communications between schools and civil society must be enhanced. The voting age shall be lowered to 16 for all elections.
Every young person and child should have the right to at least one recreational activity of choice. Sports, cultural and other recreational clubs shall be integrated as part of the school day of children and young people through co-operation with associations and volunteer organisations. Children in low-income families should be provided financial assistance in the form of ‘hobby support’ to pay for club and hobby fees. Municipalities shall provide free access to recreational facilities for those under the age of 18.
Public transportation does not reach everyone. For this reason, in areas with long distances, 16-year-olds should be able to get a limited right to drive a car as a means of facilitating studies, living at home and taking part in recreational activities.
Finland needs to undergo a revolution to change attitudes concerning the elderly. Ageing citizens are not simply a target group for services, benefits and measures, but rather, a vital resource for our society and a source of life experience for younger generations. Elderly people shall be heard when it comes to their views on issues that concern them, and their right to self-determination must be respected. Finland needs an ombudsman for the elderly in order to create a society with a more favourable and compassionate attitude toward the elderly.
Retirement is a significant change for any person. At this junction of life, it is important to have statutory health and wellness examinations to identify, together with health care professionals, one’s key health risks and to establish the foundation for a good life during the retirement years. Later on, from the age of 75 onwards, each person would be invited to regular age-related examinations.
Lifestyle advice and guidance should continue throughout adulthood. Self-care skills contribute to ensuring healthier years of life, also after being diagnosed with an illness.
Loneliness and feelings of insecurity are too often an elderly person’s only companions. The Centre Party wants to increase community and diversity in housing and living. Various options would offer the possibility to combine homely living environs, care services and community activities. We also propose the introduction of financial incentives to encourage several generations to live under the same roof. Sufficient personal resources shall be secured to enable the provision of home care for the elderly.
The position of families and relatives who are caring for an elderly person shall be improved. Working life shall be made more flexible to better accommodate the needs of those who are providing informal care for a loved one at home. Informal caregivers live in a variety of life situations and their needs fluctuate. For one person, it may be essential to be able to combine work and the provision of care, while for another, the primary concern is the level of financial support or the possibility to have periods of rest. All of these needs shall be considered within the development work. Today’s informal caregivers receive unequal assistance depending on where they live. Uniform criteria shall be specified for informal care agreements and compensations, and inclusion of informal caregivers in the sphere of support shall be safeguarded more extensively. The support that is awarded cannot be dependent on the sufficiency of appropriations in one’s municipality or region.
After living independently for years, most of the elderly find themselves in a live phase in which they need regular care and support. However, too few find access to the help they need. The services shall be developed so as to provide the elderly and their families with a one-stop service that offers information and guidance.
Elderly that are in poor health cannot be left to manage with only the assistance provided by home care services. It is absolutely imperative that every elderly person should have access to a living situation that provides the necessary level of care as to best support their well-being and functional capacity.
Poor and insufficient nutrition reduces the functional capacity of the elderly. Every elderly person shall be guaranteed one warm meal per day.
The risk of poverty for those over the age of 75, in particular, has grown. Low-income pensioners are in the most vulnerable position. The lowest form of pension, the guarantee pension, must be raised. It is necessary to discontinue the freezing of index adjustments to national pensions and certain other benefits, which was in effect in 2017-2019.
Facilitating basic social security
Work is being divided into short-term and temporary stints. Income is increasingly irregular. Self-employment and light entrepreneurship are becoming more common. On the other hand, the acceptance of work is not always financially sensible. Many are suffering from long-term unemployment.
Our social security system no longer corresponds to today's needs or those of the future. The system calls for a revolution based on human needs. Basic social security must be designed to reduce poverty. It must be allocated to those who need it most.
Our basic social security shall be reformed to ensure that it guarantees subsistence and encourages people to work, while also simplifying the system itself. The long-term goal of the Centre Party is to see the launch of a universal basic income system. The system would grant people the right to a basic social security, the amount of which would gradually decrease and finally be set off through taxation as a result of increasing earned income.
Universal basic income is supportive by nature and eliminates incentive traps, facilitates the harmonisation of different types of income and encourages people to accept work. For example, to facilitate the employment of partially disabled people, the combination of basic social security and salary/wages corresponding to the individual’s work ability should be treated as an overall income. Taxation should ensure that the income that remains in hand always increases as earnings increase.
The national Incomes Register facilitates the real time harmonisation of work income and benefits. This ensures that support will not need to be recovered.
Realistic green principles
The Centre Party is Finland’s original national green movement. Realistic green principles have been at the core of our ideology for 110 years. We view humankind and nature as a cross-generational partnership. We shall live in harmony with nature and draw benefit from it in a sustainable manner. We want to make environmentally-friendly choices easy and lucrative.
The climate does not wait. It requires more and faster actions from us. Our goal is for Finland to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 at the latest. The increase of carbon sinks must continue in the future, consumption patterns must change and new technologies must be developed.
The decision by Sipilä’s Government to cease the use of coal-fired power and heating by 2029 will call for further energy actions. Domestic energy is a priority for the Centre Party. We shall pursue a more goal-driven road towards a Finland that thrives on renewable energy. The country shall invest in clean technologies and smart energy systems with distributed generation and storage capacities. Biogas, for example, is viewed as providing an answer to climate challenges as well as being financially beneficial. Technologies based on renewable energy open possibilities, also for Finnish exports.
Sustainable forest management is climate work at its best. Carbon sinks shall be increased by planting forests over peat bogs that have been taken out of use and on fields that are no longer being farmed due to low productivity. First thinnings of the forests that have been neglected shall be carried out. The proposed actions of the Centre Party also include the environmental restoration of peat bogs and the strengthening of the carbon storage capacity of agricultural lands.
Finnish farmers and forest owners are part of the climate change solution, not its problem. The goal of the Centre Party is for all Finnish food to be produced using carbon neutral methods by 2040. This requires the drafting of a commonly agreed roadmap. Climate work can and should be financially lucrative for producers of primary products.
Every person can affect small and significant climate changes by conserving energy and altering their own consumption habits. Society and the market should facilitate these efforts. Reliable information about the climate effects of products and services shall be made available.
The focus in our climate policies must not be on blaming one another. In the future it must also be possible to drive a car, eat good food, travel and live in a detached house or residential flat. This is all possible through the development of new solutions that protect the climate and environment.
We must shift from the fossil economy to bio and circular economies. Everything that can be manufactured using renewable raw materials shall be manufactured through such means. Raw materials shall be recycled as efficiently as possible.
Wood is Finland’s most important renewable resource. Finland’s forests are growing better than ever. The value of the forest industry can be doubled over the long term. The use of wood can be increased sustainably while also ensuring the diversity of the forests and maintaining the carbon sinks. The wood shall be processed into products that provide as high an added value as possible.
Wood can be used to replace forms of production that are more harmful for the environment, for example, within the building and textile industries. The climate emissions resulting from building shall be reduced. A significant leap must be taken in terms of timber construction. Finland shall become the model country for the industry. Competence and training in timber construction shall be increased.
Finnish forest owners hold a key role in championing bioeconomy and combatting climate change. They shall be provided with information and tools enabling them to make choices that support their own goals and the well-being of the environment. Finland can become a model for the successful blending of the financial exploitation, recreational use and natural value of forests with efforts to reduce climate change.
Finland created the world’s first Plastics Roadmap. Its proposals for reducing, refusing, recycling and replacing plastics shall be realised. The number of collection bins for plastics should be increased.
The best local food
Food produced in Finland is pure local food. It is produced in accordance with the strictest requirements set by the EU. Clean, domestic food and water form the cornerstone of our security of supply. The continuation of food production in Finland shall be safeguarded through national and EU decisions. The support funds shall be allocated to farms that are actively producing food.
Farmers have earned their pay. Now we need a fair and functional market. The negotiating position of producers of primary products within the food supply chain shall be improved. Unfair trade practices must be eliminated. Shops shall also provide smaller food processing companies with equal possibilities to sell their products. The bureaucracy surrounding direct selling shall be simplified and rationalised.
Consumers have a right to know the origin of their food. The requirement for mandatory origin labelling shall be further expanded to include shops and restaurants. Consistently active influence within the EU is necessary to see this realised.
Schools should provide information about food production and guide students to make healthy nutritional choices. Shared dining experiences are part of the learning process. In addition to lunch, every school should offer a daily snack as well. The acquisitions of institutional kitchens should be driven by responsibility and quality rather than price. This would improve the position of domestic foods.
Farmers need more support and advice and less administration and control. Human errors must not result in unreasonable consequences for the producer. Producers should always have the opportunity to fix any issues that arise through supervision before being sanctioned.
Nature belongs to everyone. In addition to the Everyman’s rights, each citizen shall have the assured right to access natural local environs. Everyone must be able to walk in the woods. We advocate for urban parks and green spaces.
Nature must be preserved well for future generations. Actions are required in order to sustain its diversity: protection of the Baltic Sea and other waterways, environmental restoration of peat bogs and grasslands, or perhaps the building of fishways and increasing the amount of decaying wood in the forests.
The voluntary forest conservation programme METSO has proven to be functional and effective. The programme should be expanded also to include other natural habitats, such as marshlands and wetlands. METSO shall be developed in order also to facilitate the participation of private actors in the funding of conservation sites.
The threshold for conservation must be lowered. The volunteer-based My Nature Gift to the Centenarian campaign initiated as part of Finland’s centennial anniversary should continue. An online shop for nature conservation should be established as a platform for this campaign and other new programmes.
The spread of non-native species in Finland’s natural environs must be stopped. The viability of the large predatory species shall be managed so as to ensure that they pose no danger to people, production animals and pets nor bring any unreasonable harm to reindeer husbandry. Within the European Union, Finland shall promote policies that primarily delegate decisions about the management of large predator populations to the individual member states.
The use of domestic fish shall be increased. The seal and cormorant populations shall be managed properly.
The Centre Party is a party with a positive approach to wilderness and nature. For us, it is a value judgment to advocate outdoor activities and related requirements. Everyone must have the possibility to hunt, fish and gather berries and mushrooms. Hunting clubs shall be encouraged to open their doors to new hunting enthusiasts. It shall be made possible for students to complete a hunter examination as part of the eighth grade curriculum in comprehensive school. The possibilities for recreational and subsistence fishing shall be safeguarded and the vitality of the migratory fish populations enhanced.
Assumption of responsibility
The primary goal of our foreign and security policies is to ensure Finland’s independence and the safety of its citizens.
For the Centre Party, patriotism refers to pride in Finland, its roots, its languages and its cultures. We promote the benefits of Finland and its people through co-operation with other nations for the purpose of building peace and harmony. Finland’s solution will not be to simply curl up and build fences. Instead, we offer the world our competence through dialogue, mediation and solutions.
Our shared planet
In order to find solutions for the world’s biggest problems, we need common game rules and the shared commitment of all the countries. The Centre Party wants to reinforce bodies such as the UN and EU that defend human rights, democracy, rule of law and the principles of sustainable development. Their significance is ever more important, as the liberal democratic model is being more seriously challenged worldwide than at any other time since the end of the cold war.
In addition to national climate responsibility, we need active influence within the EU and international communities. There will be no free riders. Rather, every country shall do its part to save the climate. Finland’s top expertise in sustainable forest management and environmental technologies should be exploited more efficiently, also as part of development policies.
Africa is a continent of great opportunities and challenges. Its development can only be based on the sustainable utilisation of the continent’s own strengths and natural resources. In addition to development co-operation, this calls for fair trade and investments in developing countries.
The appropriation for Finland’s development co-operation shall be raised in increments to achieve the international goal of 0.7% of the GNP. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to establish a realistic timetable to which the governments shall commit.
The improvement of the position and education of women and girls holds a central role in Finland’s development policy.
Peace and security
Peace should always be in fashion – everywhere around the world.
Finland’s foreign policies shall promote, in an uncompromising manner, human rights, peace, democracy, the rule of law and gender equality. Young people need to be even more actively involved as builders of security, international co-operation and peace.
Finland must support stability in the Baltic Sea and Arctic regions. An active policy of stability enhances mutual trust and wide-ranging co-operation. The principal tools are solid relationships with neighbouring countries and multilateral international dialogue.
We want to strengthen Nordic co-operation and advance our defence co-operation with Sweden. Pragmatic co-operation and dialogue with Russia shall take place both through the EU and bilaterally.
Finland does not belong to any military alliance, but engages in a practical partnership with Nato. This is a good solution for Finland. There is no foreseeable reason to change the status quo. As an independent country, Finland shall maintain discretionary authority as regards solutions for military security. We want to retain the possibility to reassess the situation, whenever necessary.
The desire for national defence is the core of our defence. This desire will remain high, as people consider Finland to be righteous and worth defending. Now and in the future, we need our own credible defence capability based on defence of the entire country, general obligatory military service and a trained reserve. Additionally, a civil service duty that concerns all young people should be developed within the near future.
The operational prerequisites for voluntary national defence shall be secured in all areas of Finland. It is essential to ensure the strategic capabilities of our Defence Forces.
Food, water, energy, care and social security must be guaranteed for everyone, even in times of crisis. Security of supply and adequate self-sufficiency are part of our nation’s life insurance.
Finland shall further strengthen its readiness for cyberattacks and other new types of threats. Our defence capability shall be fortified. Citizens’ data security competence shall be improved. Online safety shall be made into a civil skill. The right to information concerning oneself is a human right of the digital era.
A solution-ready EU
Finland is part of the European Union and the greater community of Western values. Finland shall maintain its active, timely and pragmatic influence within the EU.
The EU must step up its game. Its capacity to act and sense of unity shall be strengthened. People and their rights and needs shall serve as the motivation for all EU decision-making.
The most important task of the EU is still the reinforcing of peace and stability within as well as beyond its borders. Defence co-operation within the EU shall be increased. The EU shall focus on finding solutions for the big issues being confronted by Europe and the world at large. These include, for example, climate change, the promotion of responsible free trade, the strengthening of security and solutions for refugee issues.
In addition to combatting the root causes for refugee migration, the EU shall continue its goal-oriented efforts to achieve the comprehensive solution proposed by Finland for the purpose of dealing with the migration movement and asylum policies.
These challenges concerning security and growth shall also be adopted as focal points for Finland’s upcoming EU Presidency.
The EU must not be a factory of directives and regulations that produces detailed rules hindering the activities of people and businesses. The EU needs to initiate its own deregulation process. The national latitude of the member states must be secured.
The member states must comply with common values, rules and agreements. Human rights are to be respected. Freedom of speech and the principle of the rule of law shall not be compromised. We all have to abide by that which has been agreed. No one shall live at others’ expense.
The development of a common eurozone shall be continued in a way that strengthens the wealth and stability of the member states as well as our readiness to handle risks. The banking union shall be accomplished without any reckless increase in joint liability.
As concerns the exit of Great Britain from the EU, it is imperative that trade continues. The position of British citizens living in Finland and that of Finns living in Great Britain must be secured. It is vital for Great Britain to continue to be part of the European security community.
Finland shall ensure that our special circumstances and national interests are visible in the decisions made by the EU. The Union’s policies must support and strengthen social integrity, employment, the competitiveness of companies, competence, balanced regional development and profitable agriculture.
Safe and secure daily lives
A true sense of security is born from the ability to control one’s own life. Thus, the prevention of marginalisation is the best remedy for insecurity. Low-threshold services are needed to assist those with mental health and addiction problems as well as families and couples in crisis. The exchange of information between authorities shall be increased in order to ensure that problems are caught in time. NGOs play a key role in the prevention of marginalisation.
The police, ambulances and fire brigade must arrive rapidly in emergency situations, regardless of location. The police force should be a part of local communities. It is the Centre Party’s position that Finland must hire 650 new police officers by the year 2023. The strengthening of community policing will prevent gangs and radicalisation. Local police officers employed on an overall working hour basis could be hired for sparsely populated areas. The presence of the police in the online environment should also be increased.
The prerequisites for contract fire brigades and other voluntary emergency services shall be safeguarded throughout the entire country. Unemployed persons shall have the possibility to participate in such activities without any fear of losing their benefits.
No home should be a silenced prison that conceals domestic violence. We want to create more low-threshold support and care services for victims and perpetrators of violence. The sufficient capacity of safe houses shall be secured. The ability of employees in particularly the fields of social work, health care and educational services to recognise the signs of violence must be improved.
The legal protection of those with an average income shall be augmented by, for example, imposing a cap on counsel fees as part of the legal costs for civil matters. Furthermore, more consideration shall be given to raising the income limits that serve as the basis for the provision of legal aid.
Work to improve the position of victims of crime and their families shall continue. The consequences for serious crimes against human life, health and inviolability shall be made to correspond better to the people’s sense of justice.
The immigration policy of the Centre Party combines realism and humanity. Finland shall help those in the world who are most in need, also through controlled immigration. The focus needs to be shifted from asylum seekers to quota refugees.
The Centre Party does not accept any misuse of the immigration system. We do not need criminals in our country. Every person who enters Finland must comply with the laws and principles of our country, including gender equality. The extradition of foreigners who illegally enter the country and who have committed crimes shall be more effective.
The processing time for asylum applications shall be reduced. Competence assessments shall be carried out for every person who is granted asylum. Their integration shall begin immediately and effectively by increasing their language skills through studies and work.
The refugee issue requires comprehensive solutions generated through European and international collaboration. The matter should be handled primarily by preventing and resolving the root causes of the issue in the countries of departure.