The Finnish Expatriate Parliament (the FEP) was founded in 1997 as a cooperative forum for Finns living abroad, where they can come together and decide collectively on issues that they deem important to them.
The activity of the FEP is primarily directed at the Finnish authorities to be able to give information on expatriate Finnish affairs and circumstances. The Finnish Expatriate Parliament aims to be a information and discussion channel both in Finland and for expatriate Finns.
The task of the FEP is to influence the authorities so that the concerns of expatriate Finns are taken into account during the decision making process of the Finnish authorities. It is a channel through which the decisions by expatriate Finns are transmitted to the Finnish authorities and other public actors.
All Finnish expatriate organizations can participate in the work of the FEP by ratifying the by-laws of the parliament. There are no charges for participating in the FEP:s activities, nor are there any financial benefits. Currently, 530 organizations in 39 countries have ratified the FEP by-laws.
Every 2-3 years the Finnish Expatriate Parliament convenes to its plenary session (assembly) in Helsinki. Each expatriate Finnish organisation after ratifying the FEP by-laws has a right to submit motions for resolutions and send its representative to the assembly session. Organisations wit over 500 members get two representatives, and organisations with more than 1000 members can send three.
As a representative system, the FEP is unique because it does not require Finnish citizenship from those involved. The Finnish nature of activities is guaranteed by the fact that the giving and receiving parties are Finns in Finland and abroad in their current home countries.
The permanent secretariat of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament is offered to it By the Finland Society, in Helsinki. The Speaker of the FEP is always the Chairman of Board of Finland Society. Mr. Jarmo Virmavirta has been the Speaker since April 2013.
In between sessions the work of the FEP is carried out and directed by the Speakers’ Council. It convenes in Helsinki twice a year. It consists of the Speaker and of eight Deputy speakers who are regional representatives. Seven of them represent geographical regions, and the eighth Deputy speaker represents Swedish-speaking Finns abroad. The Speakers' Council represents all expatriate Finns globally.
The activities of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament are today followed in 39 countries by 521 expatriate Finnish organizations which have ratified FEP by-laws.
Ulkosuomalaisparlamentin pysyvä sihteeristö / Utlandsfinländarparlamentets permanenta sekretariat
/ Permanent Secretariat of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament
SUOMI-SEURA RY - FINLAND-SAMFUNDET - FINLAND SOCIETY
Mariankatu 8, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358-(0)9-684 1210, Fax: +358-(0)9-684 121 40
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