The Nordic Co-operation Ministers led by Sweden's Margot Wallström, on September 5, chose Paula Lehtomäki as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Lehtomäki is currently working as State Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office in Finland. She then succeeds Dagfinn Høybråten who leaves when his term of office ends in March next year.
Lehtomäki looks forward to the new challenges.
"Nordic cooperation is becoming increasingly important, and I am very enthusiastic about getting the opportunity to work with it on a full-time basis. Both for me personally and for Finland, the Nordic region is the most natural family in an otherwise uncertain future, says Paula Lehtomäki.
First woman at the secretary's office
Paula Lehtomäki was elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1999 and was a Member of Parliament for 16 years. In 2003 she became Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, and in 2007-2011 she was Minister for the Environment. During the period 1999-2003 she was a member of the Nordic Council and then worked in the Neighborhood Committee.
Sweden's Co-operation Minister Margot Wallström, who in 2018 is chairman of the Nordic Co-operation Ministers, is pleased with the election.
- As a advocate of a feminist foreign policy, I am proud that Paula Lehtomäki becomes the first woman as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. We are looking forward to continued good cooperation in the Nordic circle!