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Members of Parliament are active in many societal networks. Examples of this include the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members TUTKAS, which engages in cooperation with academia, and the Arkadia Culture Society, which focuses on the artistic community. In addition, female MPs participate in the Network of Finnish Women Members of Parliament that concentrates on equality issues and promotes the female viewpoint in decision-making.
The purpose of the parliamentary friendship groups is to supplement official bilateral cooperation of the Parliament with the parliaments of other countries. The networks and cooperation groups of the MPs, in turn, address thematic issues covering both national and international topics.
The Society of Scientists and Parliament Members TUTKAS was established in 1970. It aims to establish positive connections between MPs and researchers that enable the exchange of information as well as to promote the critical examination of planning, decision-making and result utilization in relation to science. The membership of TUTKAS consists of almost 800 researchers and the 200 Members of Parliament.About once a month, TUTKAS arranges a seminar to which all of its members are invited. People who have completed an academic degree and work in research are eligible for membership. TUTKAS is chaired by MP Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto and its deputy chair is Pirjo Ståhle from the Aalto University.
The goal of Parliament's Arkadia Culture Society is to establish a positive environment for interaction between parliamentarians and cultural life as well as to promote Finland's cultural sector, culture-policy debate and a broad-reaching understanding of culture among the society's membership. In addition the MPs, Arkadia Culture Society's members include more than 250 influential people from the fields of culture and the arts. MP Pekka Aittakumpu serves as its chair.
The female members of Parliament form a network that acts as a forum in which they can discuss political issues that affect women in particular irrespective of party lines. The network is coordinated by the Employment and Equality Committee.The network acts to realize equality between men and women, promotes women's rights and introduces a female perspective to legislative work. In addition, it organises seminars and meetings, sends representatives to attend international conferences dealing with equality and women's rights as well as engages in cooperation with female MPs from other countries.The network was established in 1991. That year, 77 women were elected to Parliament. This was a record number for the time. At present, 92 female MPs serve in the Eduskunta. MP Eeva Kalli serves as its chair.
The purpose of friendship groups is to maintain ties with parliaments in other countries and regions and to learn more about their cultures and social systems. Friendship groups supplement Parliament's official international relations. They are especially important when, for one reason or another, there is no official contact with some countries. Friendship groups are set up by MPs.
The networks and cooperation groups set up by MPs bring together parliamentarians with an interest in a specific theme and aim is to complement the parliamentary debate on various social issues. Some of the cooperation groups focus especially on international and global issues, and their activities are coordinated by the International Department of Parliament:
Finnish Parliament Network on Human Rights and Finnish Parliament Group on Global Issues:
Assistant for International Affairs Katja Nolvi, +358 9 432 3555, katja.nolvi(at)parliament.fi
International Network of Young Parliamentarians of the Parliament of Finland:
Secretary for International Affairs Maria Fagerholm, +358 9 432 3525, maria.fagerholm(at)parliament.fi
Finnish Parliament Network on Peace Mediation:
Secretary for International Affairs Eeva Lahti, +358 9 432 3525, eeva.lahti(at)parliament.fi
Finnish Parliamentary Friends of the United Nations:
Executive Director Helena Laukko, UN Association of Finland, +358 44 781 0302, helena.laukko(at)ykliitto.fi