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  General and Old World HistoryNorthern EuropeFinlandModern History, 1523 to Present
 
Harri HolkeriHarri Holkeri

diplomat, Prime Minister of Finland

Harri Hermanni Holkeri was born in the small rural city of Toijala, on January 6, 1937, the son of a police officer. He received his Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Helsinki in 1962. His political career began when he joined the Youth Movement of the Conservative Party at the age of 22, and it has continued in one way or another ever since. He is married to Marja-Liisa, with whom he has one son and one daughter.

Chronology of His Political Career

Secretary of the Youth Movement of the Conservative Party,
Secretary of the Conservative Party, 1965-1971.
Member of the Helsinki City Council, 1969-1988 (including a stint as Chairman, 1981-1987).
Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1971-1978.
Member of Parliament, 1971-1978.
Unsuccessful Candidate for President, 1982 and 1988.

Prime Minister, 1987-2001
Elections held in 1987 resulted in neither of Finland's major parties winning a majority in Parliament. Under
the constitution in effect at that time, the President of the Republic played a key role in choosing who should form the government. President Mauno Koivisto, elected from among the Social Democrats, gave that task to Holkeri, who then assembled Finland's first conservative government since World War II. Despite having to preside over a government consisting of two diametrically opposed parties, Holkeri was able to guide Finland through what could have been a very tumultuous time, and Finland quickly found its place as a member of the European Union.

Chronology of His Diplomatic Career

Member of the Finnish Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, 1963-1965.
Vice-President of the European Free Trade Association Parliamentarians, 1974-1975.
Member of the Nordic Council, 1975-1978.
President of the European Free Trade Association Parliamentarians, 1976.
Member of the International Body on Decommissioning in Northern Ireland, 1995-1996.
One of the three Independent Chairmen in The All Party Talks in Northern Ireland, 1996-1998.

President of the 55th General Assembly of the United Nations, 2000-2001
The General Assembly of 2000 was exceptional for the reason that it produced the UN's Millennium Declaration, the principal aim of which was to set the clearest possible targets for the world organisation to achieve, such as halving poverty. Holkeri's clear-cut and balanced leadership was valuable in this demanding work.

United Nations Special Representative for Kosovo, 2003-

President of The Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, 2003-.
Member of the Board of International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 2003-.

Chronology of His Business Career

Member of the Supervisory Board of Ilmarinen Pensions Insurance Company, 1971-2003.
Member of the Board of the Mortgage Bank of Finland, 1971-1979.
Member of the Supervisory Board of Enso-Gutzeit Corporation, 1977-1979.
Member of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Finland, 1978-1987.
Member of the Supervisory Board of Kemi Corporation, 1978-1983.
Member of the Board of Tervakoski Company, 1979-1986.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of VALMET Corporation, 1980-1994.
Chairman of the Board of Helsinki Telephone Company Ltd., 1981-2000.
Member of the Auditing Board of United Papermills Corporation, 1981-1988.
Member of the Supervisory Board of Veitsiluoto Corporation, 1982-1987.
Member of the Supervisory Board of SALAMA Insurance Company, 1985-1994.
Chairman of the Auditing Board of Repola Corporation, 1988-1993.
Member of the Board of the Bank of Finland, 1991-1998.
Chairman of the Board of Sponda Corporation, 1991-1996.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finnair, 1994-1997.
Chairman of the Levi Northstar Company, 1996-.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Finnish Fair Corporation, 1997-.
Chairman of the Board of Finnair, 1997-2002.
Member of the Supervisory Board of Fortum Corporation, 2000-.


World War II

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  The Robinson Library > General and Old World History > Northern Europe > Finland > Modern History, 1523 to Present

This page was last updated on February 25, 2015.

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