Paavo Lipponen

Modern, cultivated values include the ability to tolerate, accept and understand other people and cultures

-Paavo Lipponen, Image magazine 04/2008

Quick Facts

Name: Paavo Lipponen
Occupation: Prime Minister of Finland (1995-2003)
Birth Date: 23 April 1941 (age 73)
Place of Birth: Turtola, Finland

Paavo Lipponen is a Finnish politician, statesman, husband, and father. In addition to being one of the most significant leaders of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, Lipponen’s term as Prime Minister has been the longest continuous period throughout the history of Finland. Now Paavo Lipponen is running for office in Finland’s presidential elections in 2012.

Throughout his career, Lipponen has emphasised internationality, democracy and equality. As early as in the 1960s, the future Prime Minister raised public interest by being one of the first to speak about a new, more democratic and open strategy in foreign policy that would also reach to encompass matters of developing countries.

Lipponen’s most significant impact on the Finnish and international politics was during his eight-year-long reign as Finland’s Prime Minister from 1995 to 2003. He steered Finland out of a severe economic depression and into membership with the European Union and the European Monetary Union. During his second term as Prime Minister Finland successfully chaired the European Union, and took part in creating the initiative to expand the Union. In addition to international openness, regional development has always played a central role in Lipponen’s political activity. It was while Finland was chairing the EU, that Lipponen proposed a policy of Northern Dimension, which has had an especially significant impact on improving the Baltic Sea.

Due to his long active career in international politics, Lipponen has established direct and open relations with leaders around the world, from Nordic and European partners to Russia and the US.
Today, Paavo Lipponen’s vision of an internationally active Finland is more important than ever. Join us to support Paavo Lipponen on his mission to lead Finland towards an open, tolerant and international future.

Important milestones

  • 1941 Born 23 April in Turtola (today Pello), Finland
  • 1959 Graduates from upper secondary school in Kuopio
  • 1960 to 1961 Studies at Dartmouth College, USA
  • 1963 to 1967 Works as a journalist
  • 1966 Speaks about a new foreign policy
  • 1967 to 1979 Secretary of International Affairs, among other duties, in the Finnish Social Democratic Party
  • 1971 Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Helsinki majoring in International Politics
  • 1979 to 1982 Secretary to Prime Minister Mauno Koivisto
  • 1989 to 1991 Chairman of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • 1991 to 2007 Member of Finnish Parliament
  • 1993 to 2005 Chairman of the Finnish Social Democratic Party
  • 1995 to 2003 Prime Minister of Finland
  • 2003 to 2007 Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
  • 2011 Runs for President


  • Club of Madrid Global Leadership for Climate Action
  • Action Group for Democracy in Europe
  • Notre Europe Institute of Paris, Supervisory Delegation and EU-USA working group member
  • Theodor Aue Stiftung, council member
  • Association Alvar Aalto en France, Chairman of the Board
  • Helsingin Suomalainen Klubi (The Helsinki Finnish Club)
  • Edith Södergran-sällskapet (The Society of Edith Södergran)
  • Svenska nu campaign, Chairman of the Delegation
  • Uintiseura Kuhat (“Kuhat” swimming club)
  • JHL (The Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors)