On 5 September, led by Sweden’s Margot Wallström, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation elected Paula Lehtomäki as the next Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Lehtomäki currently works as State Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland. In March of next year, she will succeed the current Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten when his term of office ends.
Lehtomäki is looking forward to some new challenges.
“Nordic co-operation is becoming increasingly important, and I’m very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to be involved with it on a full-time basis. For me personally and for Finland as a whole, the Nordic Region is a steadfast family in an otherwise uncertain future,” says Lehtomäki.
First woman Secretary General
Paula Lehtomäki was elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1999 and was a member of parliament for 16 years. In 2003 she became Finland’s minister for foreign trade and development, and was minister for the environment from 2007 to 2011. She was also a member of the Nordic Council from 1999 to 2003, working in the regional vicinity committee.
Sweden’s minister for co-operation Margot Wallström, who is also chair of the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation in 2018, is pleased with the choice.
“As a advocate of a feminist foreign policy, I’m proud that Paula Lehtomäki will be the first women Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. We’re looking forward to continuing our successful co-operation in the Nordic fold!”