Finland’s largest political parties

National Coalition Party (Kokoomus – KOK)

The chair of the party is Mr Jyrki Katainen. The party supports centre-right liberal conservatism. The party is moderately liberal and reformist. Its fundamental values are: freedom, responsibility, democracy, equal opportunity, education, incentive, respect for others and caring. Individualism and entrepreneurship are promoted. The party wishes to cherish Finland’s national heritage, language and culture. It works for the education and cultural advancement of the people. In particular, the party wishes to promote entrepreneurship and improve business conditions. It emphasises the social responsibility of people and companies. Nature, the environment and other people should be respected.

In the European Parliament, the Coalition Party belongs to the European People’s Party (EPP).

The Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP)

The chair of the party is Mrs Jutta Urpilainen. The party supports social democracy. It wants people to unite and work together towards a common goal. The party’s ideal is a free and equal society based on solidarity, cooperation and peace. A clean, unspoiled environment is an important goal. The party’s view of socialism is expressed as follows: ‘defending the oppressed against the oppressor, defending the disadvantaged against the powerful. ’ The party is opposed to uncontrolled capitalism and conservative values. It supports the welfare services provided by the state and municipalities.

In the European Parliament, the Social Democratic Party belongs to the Party of European Socialists (S&D).

The Finns (Perussuomalaiset – PS)

The chair of the party is Mr Timo Soini. The party supports nationalist social conservatism. The party represents Finnish nationalism and is very critical of the European Union. Its values are based on conservative, Christian and social values. The party seeks to promote economic security, education and welfare. Its goal is to improve employment and encourage entrepreneurship in Finland. Its values include populism ‘which underlines the conflict between the people and the elite and claims to represent the people irrespective of popular support. ’ Members include supporters from the extreme right to the extreme left. The party underlines the importance of Finnish identity and wants to clearly restrict immigration. Another goal is to recover decision-making powers from the European Union back to the member states.

In the European Parliament The Finns belong to the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group.

Centre Party (Suomen keskusta – KESK)

The chair of the party is Mr Juha Sipilä. The Centre Party is a centrist party that supports social liberalism. The party is moderately reformist and supports social ideals and values. The Centre Party is known to defend the interests of Finnish agriculture and considers it important that both services and jobs remain safe all over Finland. The party pursues an ecological policy to protect natural assets. It seeks peace and cooperation. Equality is also important. The party seeks to promote humanity and freedom with responsibility through education and culture. Society must be inclusive and supportive of entrepreneurship. The party wishes to make it easier for companies to employ people. About half of the members are opposed to the EU.

In the European Parliament, the Centre Party belongs to the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

Left Alliance of Finland (Vasemmistoliitto –VAS)

The chair of the party is Mr Paavo Arhinmäki. Its ideologue is left-wing green socialism. The party supports purely social values. Its fundamental values include equality, democracy, freedom and sustainable development. The party seeks to combine liberalism with socialism. Feminist thinking and environmental awareness are important. The party works for a just and fair world economy and democracy. The Finnish welfare state should be developed and capitalism controlled. Terms of employment may not be made worse. Speculation with short-term employment contracts must be prevented. The trade unions must have a strong position. Everybody must have the right to work and an income. People may not be discriminated against because of gender, sexual orientation or religion. Immigrants should be encouraged and enjoy the same rights as other people in Finland. The party does not support socialist totalitarianism. Its supporters are fairly critical of the EU. In their opinion, more attention should be paid to social issues in the European integration process. The economy must not dictate all developments.
The party failed to get any candidate elected to the European Parliament for the electoral period of 2009–2014.

The Greens of Finland (Vihreä liitto – VIHR)

The chair of the party is Mr Ville Niinistö. The party supports green social liberalism. The party is mainly concerned about the environment and animal rights. It is a strongly reformist party: ‘the greens are not left, not right but simply ahead. ’ The party is critical of both socialism and the market economy saying that neither economic system gives enough consideration for the environment and developing countries. According to the party, more attention should be given to future generations and spiritual values. Money must not be allowed to dictate everything. The party supports feminism and multiculturalism. Most supporters are in favour of same-sex marriage and adoption rights. Half of the supporters are opposed to compulsory military service.

In the European Parliament, the party belongs to the European Green Alliance (Greens/EFA).

The Swedish People’s Party (Suomen ruotsalainen kansanpuolue – RKP)

The chair of the party is Mr Carl Haglund. The Swedish People’s Party is a centrist party that supports social liberalism and the position of the Swedish language. It is a reformist party that seeks to promote equality. In particular, the party looks after the interests of the Swedish-speaking population in Finland. It seeks to promote and maintain services in Swedish and supports a bilingual Finland. Gradually, the party has extended its range to promote the interests of other minorities as well. It is a non-socialist party but includes a liberal, conservative and agrarian wing. Even though the party is small, it has held posts in almost every Finnish cabinet. The party promotes the rights of sexual minorities, including the right of homosexual and lesbian couples to adopt. The party seeks to fight economic crime, but is opposed to extending the police’s rights of access to information. The party is a supporter of the European Union.

In the European Parliament, the Centre Party belongs to the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

Christian Democrats (Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit – KD)

The chair of the party is Mrs Päivi Räsänen. The party supports centre-right social conservatism. Ideologically, the party is somewhere between the Centre Party and the Coalition Party. The party’s primary goal is to ensure that Christian values are taken into account in decision making. The party drives a public debate on values and is concerned about morals in society. The party is involved in social issues and defends the weakest. It supports an ecological and social market economy. There must be private companies, cooperatives and state-owned enterprises in society. All must act fairly and show solidarity. All people must be guaranteed a minimum income. People should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own life. Politics must be based on Christianity. All must be looked after and all must be respected. The family is the core of society. Marriage is a union between man and woman. The party is opposed to the registration of homosexuals and lesbians’ civil partnerships. Life should be respected. Abortion should be allowed only when the pregnant woman’s life is at risk. Freedom always involves responsibility.
In the European Parliament the party is an observer in the European People’s Party (EPP).

There are also other registered parties with no seats in the Finnish Parliament that may nominate candidates for the elections to the European Parliament.

These include the Independence Party (Itsenäisyyspuolue –IPU); For the Poor (Köyhien asialla –KA); Change 2011 (Muutos 2011 -M11); the Pirate Party of Finland (Piraattipuolue – PIR); the Communist Party of Finland (Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue – SKP); the Finnish Workers’ Party (Suomen työväenpuolue – STP); and the Freedom Party – Finland's Future (Vapauspuolue – Suomen tulevaisuus –VP).