Finland flag Finland: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Finland

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Sauli Niinistö (since 1 March 2012; re-elected for a second six-year term on 28th January 2018)
Prime Minister: Petteri Orpo (since 20 June 2023)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: January 2024
Parliament: 30 April 2027
Current Political Context
In April 2023, Finland held a general election where the incumbent Prime Minister, Sanna Marin of the Social Democrat (SDP) party, and her coalition, failed to secure a majority. The National Coalition Party won the election, securing 20.8% of the national popular vote and claiming 48 seats in parliament, marking the party's third-highest result in history. The party went on to form a coalition government with the Finns, the Swedish People's Party, and the Christian Democrats, with Petteri Orpo assuming the role of prime minister.
In a historic decision, Finland officially joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 4 April 2023. The move came in response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and a growing sense of security concerns among the Finnish population. Finland’s 2024 budget put defence spending at about EUR 6.2 billion, a nearly 5% rise from 2023.
Main Political Parties
Finland has a multi-party system to ensure a single party does not have a chance to gain power alone. Parties work with each other to form coalition governments. The largest parties represented in the parliament following the 2023 elections include:

- National Coalition Party (KOK): centre-right, liberal conservatism, strongly pro-European. In the 2023 election, the party won 48 seats
- The Finns (PS): left-wing, nationalist. The party advocates for a more restrictive immigration policy and obtained 46 seats in the latest election
- Social Democratic Party (SDP): centre-left, social-democratic party that advocates for social justice, equality, and a strong safety net. It currently holds 43 seats in the parliament
- Centre Party (KESK): centre, wields political influence in smaller agrarian communities
- Left Alliance (VAS): left-wing, social democratic
- Green League (VIHR): centre, green politics, liberal
- Swedish People's Party (RKP): centre, represents the minority of Swedish speaking people in Finland
- Christian Democrats (KD): centre/centre-right
- Movement Now (Liike Nyt): liberal
- For Åland (ÅS): a political alliance of the main Åland parties.
Executive Power
The President of Finland is the Head of State, leader of foreign policy, and the commander-in-chief of the defence forces. He/she is directly elected by absolute majority for a six-year term, renewable once. The President appoints the Prime Minister. The main executive power lies in the Cabinet which is appointed and headed by the Prime Minister. Before the constitutional rewrite completed in 2000, the President enjoyed more power.
Legislative Power
Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of Finland (Eduskunta), with the Government holding limited rights to amend or extend legislation. It is composed of 200 deputies elected for four years by proportional representation. The President has the power of veto over parliamentary decisions although it can be overrun by the parliament.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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Latest Update: July 2024