The Nordic Council of Ministers´ has a new Secretary General

Monday, 18 March 2019
Paula Lehtomäki, the New Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody Paula Lehtomäki, the New Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody Laura Kotila/

Paula Lehtomäki from Finland was elected as the next Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. On 18 March, she will succeed the current Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten as his term of office ends.

Lehtomäki is looking forward to some new challenges.

“Nordic co-operation is becoming increasingly important, and I’m very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to be involved with it on a full-time basis. For me personally and for Finland as a whole, the Nordic Region is a steadfast family in an otherwise uncertain future,” says Lehtomäki.

The Secretary General stresses the importance of work focusing on issues relevant to the people of the Region in both the short- and long-term. It is also important to make Nordic values and experiences visible in global arenas.

“The political priorities for the Council of Ministers' budget in 2019 – digitalisation, mobility and international profiling – are in line with what I think the people of the Region expect. We must keep up to date and take advantage of new opportunities to facilitate freedom of movement. We also have a duty to share our knowledge and experiences with the rest of the world."

First woman Secretary General

Paula Lehtomäki is the first woman and the youngest person ever to hold the post of Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

“I think it is an important signal that the Nordic Council of Ministers chose a younger woman in the middle of her career as the new Secretary General,” she says with a smile.

Paula Lehtomäki was elected to the Finnish Parliament in 1999 and was a member of parliament for 16 years. In 2003 she became Finland’s minister for foreign trade and development, and was minister for the environment from 2007 to 2011. She was also a member of the Nordic Council from 1999 to 2003, working in the regional vicinity committee.

Read more about Paula Lehtomäki.


Article originally published on


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Angelika Lebedev

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