Astrid Thors

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Astrid Thors
Nordiska Radets session 2011 i Kopenhamn (5).jpg
High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Assumed office
20 August 2013
Preceded by Knut Vollebæk
Minister of Migration and European Affairs
In office
19 April 2007 – 21 June 2011
Member of Finnish Parliament for Helsinki
In office
21 March 2007 – 4 September 2013
Member of Finnish Parliament for Uusimaa
In office
19 March 2003 – 20 March 2007
Member of the European Parliament
for Finland
In office
11 November 1996 – 19 July 2003
Personal details
Born Astrid Gunilla Margareta Thors
(1957-11-06)6 November 1957
Helsinki, Finland
Nationality Finn
Political party Swedish People's Party of Finland
Spouse(s) Juhani Terho Antero Turunen
(m. 2004)
Alma mater Helsinki University (Master of Laws)
Occupation Politician

Astrid Thors (born 6 November 1957, Helsinki) is the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). A Finnish-Swedish politician, formerly of the Swedish People's Party, Thors is a Candidate of Law and held several senior jobs before being elected to the European Parliament. She served there between 1996 and 2004. She was elected to the Parliament of Finland in 2003. From 2005–2007 she chaired the Swedish Assembly of Finland.

After the 2007 elections she was chosen to be the new Minister of Migration and European Affairs in Matti Vanhanen's second cabinet.

During 2007 and 2011 Thors became a target of the increasing anti-immigration and anti-EU sentiment. She received death threats[1][2] that were consequently investigated by the police, and faced a lot of criticism, in parliament and especially on chat and blogging sites. This regardless of the fact that during her term, the Finnish immigration policy continued to tighten outside the EU directives. The critique Minister Thors faced subsequently led to a decision not to continue this ministerial position in Prime Minister Katainen's government, and immigration policy was returned under the Interior Minister's wings and EU policy was given to the new position of the Minister of European Affairs and Foreign Trade.

On 17 July 2013, she was appointed OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.[3]



Preceded by
post created
Minister for EU and immigration (Finland)
Succeeded by
Päivi Räsänen (as Minister of Internal Affairs), Alexander Stubb (as Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade)