Finnish Council of State


Finnish Council of State

The Council of State (Finnish: "Valtioneuvosto," Swedish: "Statsrådet"; officially rendered Finnish Government) is Finland's cabinet; it directs the Government of Finland. However, in governmental translations to English, the distinction is often blurred between "cabinet" and "government" in the wider sense. This wider sense includes the Parliament of Finland (on which the cabinet is dependent), the governmental agencies that are directed by the Cabinet, and the independent judicial branch of government. In spite of the occasisional blurring by translators, the difference is significant.

In 1918, after Finland's independence, the Cabinet, that in the Grand Duchy of Finland had been called the Senate of Finland, was reorganized and renamed to the "Council of State." One of the main objectives of that reform was to separate the judiciary from the executive branch.

According to the recent revision of the Constitution of Finland (as of 2000), the power over foreign affairs is retained by the president, as it also is in France, although with a narrow definition of "foreign affairs" that excludes influence over preparations of decisions within the European Union. International treaties and declaration of war are within the authority of the parliament.

With the constitution of 2000, Finland adheres "de jure" to the principles of Parliamentarism, although "de facto" all presidents since Kyösti Kallio (1936–1940) have chosen to appoint cabinets supported or tolerated by parliamentary majorities.

Matters within the authority of the Cabinet are decided at plenary meetings, with a quorum of five ministers present, in the case of matters of wide importance and matters that are significant for reasons of principle. Less important matters are decided within the respective ministries.

Matters within the authority of the President are decided at plenary meetings of the Cabinet, with the exception of appointments, pardon, and calling of extraordinary elections.

Current Council of State

The current Council of State, the 70th to be formed since Finland's independence, was appointed by President Tarja Halonen on April 19, 2007. The current Council of State is a coalition comprising the Centre Party (KESK), the National Coalition (KOK), the Green League (VIHR), and the Swedish People's Party (SFP). There are 12 women and 8 men in the cabinet, which makes it the first cabinet in Finnish history with female majority. The current cabinet also has more ministers than any of its predecessors; it has 20 ministers, while the former cabinet had 18.

The Chancellor of Justice is an ex officio non-voting member of the Council of State.

ee also

*Council of State
*Minister of Foreign Affairs (Finland)
*Minister of Justice (Finland)
*Minister of Defence (Finland)
*Minister of Finance (Finland)

External links

* [http://www.government.fi/ The Finnish Government] - Official site


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