Jyrki Katainen

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Jyrki Katainen
Jyrki Katainen in June 2013 (cropped).jpg
European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by Ferdinando Nelli Feroci (Industry and Entrepreneurship)
European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro
In office
16 July 2014 – 1 November 2014
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Siim Kallas (Acting)
Succeeded by Pierre Moscovici (Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs)
Valdis Dombrovskis (Euro and Social Dialogue)
42nd Prime Minister of Finland
In office
22 June 2011 – 24 June 2014
President Tarja Halonen
Sauli Niinistö
Deputy Jutta Urpilainen
Antti Rinne
Preceded by Mari Kiviniemi
Succeeded by Alexander Stubb
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
19 April 2007 – 22 June 2011
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Mari Kiviniemi
Preceded by Eero Heinäluoma
Succeeded by Jutta Urpilainen
Minister of Finance
In office
19 April 2007 – 22 June 2011
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Mari Kiviniemi
Preceded by Eero Heinäluoma
Succeeded by Jutta Urpilainen
Personal details
Born (1971-10-14) 14 October 1971 (age 43)
Siilinjärvi, Finland
Political party National Coalition Party
Spouse(s) Mervi Katainen
Children 2
Alma mater University of Tampere
Religion Lutheranism
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  Finland
Service/branch Finnish Army
Years of service 1989–1990
Rank Senior 1st Lieutenant

Jyrki Tapani Katainen (born 14 October 1971) was the Prime Minister of Finland from 2011 to June 2014 and chairman of the National Coalition Party from 2004 to 2014. Katainen was succeeded by Alexander Stubb as chairman of Finland's National Coalition Party.[1] After stepping down as Prime Minister, Jyrki Katainen was elected as the European Commission Vice-President, responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro in July 2014.[2]

Education and personal life[edit]

Katainen was born in Siilinjärvi, a town in Finland. He obtained a Master's degree in political science from the University of Tampere.

Jyrki Katainen and his wife Mervi Katainen have 2 children: Saara (born in 2005) and Veera (2009). In addition to Finnish, Katainen speaks English, French and Swedish.

Political career prior to 2011[edit]

Katainen became involved in politics after a brief career in teaching. He became a member of the Siilinjärvi municipal council in his first political position, in 1993. He was then elected member of the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta) from the district of Northern Savonia in 1999, served as the vice-chairman of the party in 2001, and became the leader in 2004.

From 1990 to 2000, Katainen was Vice President of the Youth of the European Peoples Party.

Katainen was elected Vice President of the European People's Party (EPP) for a three-year term in 2006 and won the second election in 2009.

In the 2007 parliamentary election, Katainen's National Coalition was placed second. Katainen became the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the new cabinet with the Center, the National Coalition, Greens, and the Swedish People's party.

As the Finance Minister, Katainen noted that Europe's leaders must do more to prepare voters for “exit strategies” that bring spiralling public sector debts back under control, noting that "It is always politically difficult but we simply have no choice. We will have to do very painful things in forthcoming years when the economy starts to recover."[3]

Prime Minister (2011-2014)[edit]

Following the parliamentary election held on April 17, 2011, Katainen was elected Prime Minister by the new parliament and assumed office on June 22, 2011. His centre-right National Coalition Party became the largest party for the first time in the history of Finland.[4][5] Following government-forming negotiations, Katainen was elected Prime Minister by the Finnish Parliament, and his government of six parties (National Coalition Party, Social Democratic Party of Finland, Left Alliance (Finland), Green League, Swedish People's Party of Finland and Christian Democrats (Finland) ) was formally appointed by President Tarja Halonen on June 22, 2011.[6]

In August 2013 Katainen invited participants representing political parties, interest groups and research institutes to a forum in Heureka science center. The forum was designed to explore the broad structural changes needed to improve Finland's economy over the coming years. In his speech (loosely translated to English) Prime Minister Katainen concluded that 'participants showed curiousness and commitment. I believe the discussions will provide an excellent basis for resolving difficult situations. We now need to take action and to address the structural reforms ahead.' [7]

Finland's economic problems have been visible for years, but the government has been forced to delay structural reforms because socialist parties in the six-party cabinet have opposed measures. In September 2013 the six-party cabinet laid out plans for some reforms. However, Katainen warned that the proposed reforms were not sufficient.[8][9] In November 2012, the government elected not to have Finland to join the team of EU countries that proposed a financial transaction tax. This was a reportedly difficult issue for the six-party government because three of the parties favored the tax.[10]

Katainen's views regarding the demise of Nokia may have been controversial in the international arena, however, the company has long been part of Finland's national fabric, making it difficult to view the issue from alternative perspectives.

As Prime Minister, Katainen encouraged investment in Finland, in part because of the country’s excellent education system and political stability. He also encouraged the involvement of universities and higher education institutions in civil society in order to increase the country’s competitiveness in the national arena.

According to Prime Minister Katainen’s blog there was hope in the future for Finland's economy.[11] For example, the Prime Minister highlighted Google’s investment of about 800 million Euros in Hamina, Russian data center Yandex’s investment in Mäntsälä and Microsoft’s plans for investing about 250 million in Finland. But the Prime Minister noted that Finland is still losing more jobs than those that are created.

In November 2013, Katainen said "Finland needs more direct foreign investment to accelerate the economy and increase growth and employment. The government approved the strategy for attracting national investment last December. The strategy emphasis the ICT sector, including data centres, as a core area."[12]

Europe[edit]

As Prime Minister, Katainen recommended that European leaders should rebuild the unity of the European Union that was undermined by the euro zone debt crisis. Speaking at a Reuters Euro Zone Summit, the center-right leader said mutual resentment between citizens of northern creditor states and poorer debtor countries was fuelling euroscepticism and posed a threat to the 28-nation bloc's unity.[13] During the Summit, the Prime Minister noted that "In some countries people are thinking that integration is not fair if we have to pay for other countries' decision-makers' mistakes."

Katainen said calls for more European involvement were unpopular at a time when globalization had made people afraid of losing their jobs and lowering their standard of living.

The enforcement of overhauled budget discipline rules and the creation of a banking union with a single supervisor and a mechanism to wind up failed banks without making taxpayers pay had achieved the main changes needed to stabilize the euro zone.

Asked whether the EU treaty should be changed in the next five years after European Parliament elections in May, Katainen said he was a pragmatist and most of what Europe needed could be achieved by strengthening and extending its internal market.

According to Katainen, the key reforms to pensions, labor markets and education needed to keep European countries competitive with the rest of the world and make its social model affordable were in the hands of national governments.

Katainen called for a single market in clean technology, noting that Finland was producing third-generation non-food biofuels that could not enter some EU countries because regulation had not kept pace with innovation.

To combat eurosceptics in the pan-European election, EU leaders should address issues that are important to voters who support populist political parties.

Regarding the recent situation in Ukraine the Prime Minister remarked that Finland would not enforce economic sanctions against Russia.[14] He recommended that leaders and citizens remain level headed regarding the situation in Crimea.[15] According to the Prime Minister, sanctions against Russia may negatively impact the Finnish economy.

Vice-President of the European Commission[edit]

Katainen resigned as the chairman of Finland's National Coalition Party and as the Finnish Prime Minister in June 2014 and was elected as the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro on July 16, 2014 and was later confirmed as Vice-President-designate for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness in the European Commission. Katainen's new responsibilities as Vice-President are to oversee Member States' fiscal policies, to formulate recommendations to ensure that Member States' economies are on a path of sustainable of growth and job creation, to supervise the Union's common currency (the euro) and to produce the Commission's regular economic forecasts and economic indicators.[16]

According to Swedish social democrat Marita Ulvskog, "Katainen's strength is that he comes from a Nordic country, and he understands the importance of strong social partners in the labor market. We cannot solve the (Euro) crisis without social dialogue, and he understands this. I do not see him as an enemy." [17] Katainen has been assigned the task of finding €300 billion to invest in the growth and economy of the European Union.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Finland Prepares for Prime Minister Switch as Katainen Quits - Bloomberg
  2. ^ http://yle.fi/uutiset/katainen_selected_as_eu_economic_affairs_commissioner/7358981
  3. ^ Financial Times: Finnish minister wants exit strategy talks
  4. ^ Zetterberg, Seppo et al., ed. (2003). Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen [A Small Giant of the Finnish History] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Werner Söderström Publishing Ltd. 
  5. ^ "Katainen villitsi kokoomusväen". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) (Sanoma News). 17 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Uusi hallitus nimitettiin". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) (Sanoma News). 22 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Heureka Forum: Bold structural changes needed to improve Finland's economy. Government Communications Department 27.8.2013 16.10 Translation. Originally published in Finnish on 26 August 2013.
  8. ^ Government approved resolution on comprehensive reform of research institutes and research funding Press release 362/2013 Government Communications Department 2013/09/12
  9. ^ Jyrki Katainen: Täysin mahdollista, että lisäsäästöjä tarvitaan. STT. 25.9.2013
  10. ^ Finland steers clear of financial transaction tax yle 30.11.2012
  11. ^ Jyrki Katainen: Uusi yrittäjyysasenne tuo toivoa | Kokoomus
  12. ^ Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen Visits Google’s New Data Center In Hamina
  13. ^ EU must rebuild unity, address populists' concerns -Finnish PM | Reuters
  14. ^ Finland not prepared to enforce economic sanctions against Russia, says Katainen
  15. ^ EUobserver / Crimea 'votes' to join Russia as EU leaders meet
  16. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/katainen/mandate/index_en.htm
  17. ^ http://www.kauppalehti.fi/etusivu/katainen+-+saksalainen+ilman+nahkahousuja/201409700795
  • yle.fi/uutiset/bilderberg-kokouksessa_mukana_arvovaltainen_suomalaisseurue/6147086

External links[edit]

Media related to Jyrki Katainen at Wikimedia Commons

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ville Itälä
Leader of the National Coalition Party
2004–2014
Succeeded by
Alexander Stubb
Political offices
Preceded by
Eero Heinäluoma
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Jutta Urpilainen
Minister of Finance
2007–2011
Preceded by
Mari Kiviniemi
Prime Minister of Finland
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Alexander Stubb
Preceded by
Olli Rehn
Finnish European Commissioner
2014–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Siim Kallas
Acting
European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro
2014
Succeeded by
Pierre Moscovici
as European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs
Succeeded by
Valdis Dombrovskis
as European Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue
Preceded by
Ferdinando Nelli Feroci
as European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship
European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
2014–present
Incumbent