Petteri Orpo



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About me


From Childhood and Youth:

I was born in Köyliö, Satakunta, Finland in 1969. I have two older sisters and, contrary to my name (orpo, meaning an orphan), I have both a father and mother. I had a happy childhood. We lived in the small rural village of Vuorenmaa, where my parents worked as teachers. I attended primary school at the school next to our home.

I have only positive memories of my childhood and youth. Growing up and living in my home village was safe and secure. There was always something to do, such as playing sports, scouting or fishing.

In 1989, I graduated from Säkylä Regional High School and completed my military service in Parolannummi. I enjoyed my time in the army and completed the PsRUK, even considering enrolling in the cadet school. However, after successfully passing the entrance exams for economics at the University of Turku during my military service, I decided to pursue my studies there.

My university years in Turku were fantastic. I was eager to get involved in student organizations, and by the end of my first year, I was on the board of the T-club, the economics student association. From there, I served on the Student Union Representative Council and the TYY Board, where I was responsible for education policy. These experiences gave me a strong sense of civic engagement that continues to this day.

Work experience

In August 1994, I was elected General Secretary of the Student Union and have been working continuously since. In 1997, I was elected Secretary General of the SYL and had the opportunity to interact with the President, ministers, and officials. We advocated for increased student grants and higher income limits, and we had a lot of fun.

From that position, I became the Executive Director of the Southwest Finland National Coalition Party in 1998. In this role, I gained a comprehensive understanding of Southwest Finland through frequent travel to various spring and autumn meetings. My work was well received, and Ville Itälä, the Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the National Coalition Party, invited me to serve as his special adviser in Helsinki in 2002.

As Ville's assistant, I was involved in the challenging world of politics, participating in government negotiations, parliamentary group discussions, and party battles. When the National Coalition Party lost the 2003 elections and went into opposition, I became the Deputy Party Secretary of the National Coalition Party until 2005, when we relocated to Turku. In Turku, I worked as a business services manager at the Turku Adult Education Centre until my election to Parliament in March 2007.




Every politician's goal is to become a member of the Council of State, so being elected as a minister in the spring of 2014 was a great moment for me. In the years that followed, I served my country in three instructive and rewarding ministerial positions. My year-long stint as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry was especially memorable. I gained a wealth of knowledge in a new field, and the cause of Finnish food remains close to my heart. There is still a lot of untapped potential in Finnish food and new possibilities in our forests, thanks to new technologies.

In 2015 I was offered the post of Minister of the Interior. At the time, in early summer 2015, when the President of the Republic appointed the government, I was unaware of how central the role of the Ministry of the Interior would become in the autumn. The war in Syria and other unrest in the Middle East and Africa caused an unprecedented wave of migration to Europe, and Finland was not immune. A record number of asylum seekers arrived in Finland in a very short time, and our migration policy and all its practices had to be reassessed. Under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior, we took an action.

 I became the chairman of the National Coalition Party in June 2016 at the Lappeenranta party conference, fulfilling a long-held dream of mine. I am grateful for the continued support I have received in party meetings.
The presidency also resulted in a change in my ministerial portfolio. For the remainder of the Sipilä government, I served as Minister of Finance. During this period, we had to make substantial adjustments to public finances to stop years of debt spiral. However, in the final phase, the improved economic situation allowed us to increase funding for the police, education and culture.
The Sipilä government and the Coalition Party achieved a lot, both big and small. For example, we liberalized shop opening hours, reduced early childhood education fees by an historic amount, and I launched the Global Climate Coalition of Finance Ministers. I was also a member of TP-UTVA, where the President of the Republic, along with the rest of the government, discussed Finland's foreign and security policy.
We went into the 2019 parliamentary elections with strong results, but also with a long period of government responsibility. Some parties conducted an unprecedented auction of people's votes, but the National Coalition Party did not engage in such practices. I am proud of this. Although we gained one extra seat from the Lapland constituency, it was not enough. Remaining in opposition was a big change and challenging at first, but I decided not to give up and set out to rebuild the party, both in terms of organization and its programme.
Although we have updated many aspects of our programme over the years, I am proud that the Coalition can still stand behind its old programmes. Our consistent line on economic responsibility, energy independence, and support for NATO membership has proven to be the right choice.
This consistency has also been rewarded with confidence in the elections, as we won the 2019 European elections, the 2021 municipal elections, and the country's first regional elections in 2022. We are now aiming to become the party of prime ministers in the upcoming parliamentary elections, and I feel more ready and stronger than I did four years ago.



Antti Petteri Orpo

Date of birth:

Wife Niina Kanniainen-Orpo, OTM,
two children and dogs Pessi and Taavi.

Master of Political Science, University of Turku, major in Economics,
Master's degree in Municipal Service Production.

Military rank:
Captain in the Reserves


Almost 30 years of political experience

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