Speaker Risikko provides an overview of the autumn term: no loss of energy

Published 9/4/2018 4:00 PM
Modified 9/7/2018 1:35 PM

Speaker Risikko provides an overview of the autumn term: no loss of energy

On Tuesday, 4 September, Speaker of Parliament Paula Risikko provided an overview of the topics to be discussed during the autumn term. The ongoing parliamentary session is the last of the current electoral term.  

‘There seems to be no loss of energy,’ says Risikko to summarise the initial atmosphere of the autumn. 

According to the Speaker, energy will certainly be needed as Parliament will have a large number of topics to discuss before the end of the term. In terms of larger, overarching themes for the term, Risikko mentions especially the health and social services reform and the legislative package governing intelligence activities. The civil servant resources of the Social Affairs and Health Committee will be increased to ensure that the committee is able to process all the topics under its field of expertise. 

Risikko also states that the reformation of parliamentary work will continue this autumn: how to streamline the processing of the state budget is one of the more tangible questions. Regarding reformations that have already been launched, Risikko mentions topical debates that will continue in the autumn term. 

Risikko also considers increasing openness a vitally important task. The purpose is to launch a Parliament-driven openness register project.  At the moment, an investigation of international policies is being coordinated by the University of Eastern Finland. The details of the project will be settled as the work progresses. Risikko states that the openness of lobbying is a good thing. 

‘Promoting citizens’ trust in political decision-making is an extremely important objective. Establishing an openness register would be a vital step,’ says Risikko.

Risikko also plans to initiate new, security-based discussions in Parliament. The Speaker receives a great deal of security-related messages from citizens. According to Risikko, it is important to create a uniform, situational picture of the security of Finland.  The themes of security discussions will be planned in cooperation with the parliamentary committees.
‘Security is one of the basic needs,’ summarises Risikko.

The transformation of adjustment pension into an adjustment allowance is being prepared as a draft law, according to Risikko. The reform should enter into force as soon as it is finished, before the end of the current electoral term.
Regarding the discussion culture at Parliament which has been a topic of public interest lately, Risikko says she is entirely convinced that Parliament will remain as dignified as always.

The final plenary session of the present year will be held on Friday, 21 December, and the sessions will continue on Tuesday, 8 January 2019, after the Christmas break. The final session of the electoral term will be held on Friday, 15 March, and the closing of the parliamentary term will take place on Wednesday, 10 April. The official election day of the parliamentary election will be Sunday, 14 April 2019.