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"The Finnish Parliamentary building" Top 5 Page for this destination Eduskuntatalo (The Parliament House) Tip by annase

  The Finnish Parliamentary building
by annase
  • The Finnish Parliamentary building - Helsinki
      The Finnish Parliamentary building
    by annase
  • The Finnish Parliamentary building - Helsinki
      The Finnish Parliamentary building
    by annase
  • The annex building Small Parliament, built in 2004 - Helsinki
      The annex building Small Parliament, built in 2004
    by annase

Unlike the other Nordic countries, Finland has a republican form of government. The 200-member unicameral parliament is the supreme legislative authority in Finland. It may alter the constitution, bring about the resignation of the Council of State, and override presidential vetoes. Most executive power lies within the cabinet which is headed by the Prime Minister. The cabinet must have continuing trust of the parliament and may be voted out, resign or be replaced.

Legislation may be initiated by the MPs, who are elected for a 4-year term on the basis of proportional representation through open list multi-member districts. Current MPs include celebrities such as former Miss Finland and several sports men and women.

The parliament resides in a imposing red granite building on a hill called Arkadianmaki. The façade is lined by columns with Corinthian capitals. The interior is classical, but also has influences from functionalism and art deco. The main building has 5 floors which are connected by a white marble staircase at both ends as well as 'paternoster' lifts that consists of a chain of open compartments that move slowly in a loop up and down without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like. All the floors look different from each other. The line of thought being that 'the more important the occasion, the more lavish the interior'.

The parliament's cafeteria is allegedly a site for romances amongst the MPs. In the recent years, the PM caused some controversy by appearing in public with a junior MP.

The latest parliamentary elections were held in Spring 2007. Finland can pride itself as an relatively equal country between the sexes. Currently, 13 out of 19 ministers in the cabinet are women. Out of 200 MPs, 42% are women and 58% are men.

Guided tours are arranged Saturdays at 11am and 12pm, Sundays at 12pm and 1pm, and in July-August at 2pm on weekdays. The Parliamentary sessions can be viewed from the public balcony on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Address: Mannerheimintie
Directions: At Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu.
Phone: +358 9 4321

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 11, 2007
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