Heidi Hautala

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Heidi Hautala
Ms Heidi Hautala.jpg
Finnish minister Heidi Hautala at the venue for the Teri Nordic conference on climate change in Joensuu, 2013.
Member of the European Parliament
for Finland
Assumed office
1 July 2014
In office
14 July 2009 – 21 June 2011
Succeeded by Tarja Cronberg
In office
1 January 1995 – 25 March 2003
Succeeded by Uma Aaltonen
Minister for International Development
In office
22 June 2011 – 16 October 2013
Preceded by Paavo Väyrynen
Succeeded by Pekka Haavisto
Chairperson of the Finnish Green Party
In office
Preceded by Kalle Könkkölä
Succeeded by Pekka Sauri
Personal details
Born (1955-11-14) 14 November 1955 (age 60)
Oulu, Finland
Nationality Finland
Political party Green League, European Greens, The Greens–European Free Alliance

Heidi Anneli Hautala (born 14 November 1955, Oulu) is a Finnish politician (Greens). She was a Member of the European Parliament from 1995 to 2003 and 2009 to 2011 where she chaired the Subcommittee on Human Rights 2009–2011.[1] She served as Minister for International Development and ownership steering issues in Jyrki Katainen's cabinet.

Hautala resigned from her position in October 2013. Hautala stated that she could no longer work as a minister, because she had been inaccurate and remembered things incorrectly. Earlier she had given the press inaccurate information concerning her actions in politically managing state-owned company Arctia Shipping, when the company wanted to initiate police investigations against Greenpeace in 2012.[2] She returned to the European Parliament in 2014.


She was the leader of the Finnish Green Party from 1987 to 1991, and a presidential candidate in 2000 and 2006. In the first round of the 2006 election she finished fourth of the eight candidates with a vote share of 3.5% (105,248 votes). She was a member of the national parliament from 1991 to 1995. After Finland joined the European Union (EU) in 1995, she was elected to the European Parliament. She returned to the national Parliament in the elections of 2003, and in 2009, she was re-elected to the European Parliament. She is a signatory of the 2010 Declaration on Crimes of Communism, a patron of its preceding conference,[3] and was a member of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group as an MEP.[4] She is the president of the Green European Foundation.[5]

Hautala is the chairwoman of the Administrative Council of Neste Oil,[6] a Finnish oil refining and marketing company producing mainly transportation fuels and other refined petroleum products. She works closely with EU affairs as a member of the Grand Committee. In addition, she has chaired the Green parliamentary group and she is the Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee in the Finnish Parliament. Also she is a member of the Parliament's Speaker's Council. As well Hautala is Chairperson of the National Equality Commission (TANE). She advocates environmental responsibility, openness in politics, and global justice.[citation needed]

Heidi Hautala is engaged to work also in organizations on the side of her work in Finnish Parliament. She is former President of Service Centre for Development Cooperation and current Member of the executive bureau of Crisis Management Initiative, for which the President is Martti Ahtisaari a former President of Finland (1994–2000) and a United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work.[citation needed]

Hautala is the chairwoman of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, established in 2007 to promote the Finnish-Russian dialogue and strengthen the Russian civil society. In 2001, Hautala successfully took the Council of the European Union to the European Court of Justice. over access to a document on arms export rules. The Court ruled that the ministers should have considered publishing at least part of the document. The so-called "Hautala case" set a precedent in European law for access to documents.[7]

In 2013 it emerged Hautala had illegally hired black market labour for cleaning and illegally withheld pension contributions for repair work. She agreed to pay the contributions and apologised for her actions, but declined to resign from her ministerial position. She instead resigned from the ministerial working group against the informal economy.[8][9]

She returned to the European Parliament following the 2014 election.

Since 2015 she is together with Roswitha Fessler-Ketteler, Vytautas Landsbergis, Aleksi Malmberg and Frank Schwalba-Hoth member of the advisory board of the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra association and its German "Förderverein".[10]

Arctia Shipping[edit]

In October 2013, Hautala resigned her ministerial position in midst of allegations of abuse of power. In a protest against Arctic ice drilling a year earlier, members of Greenpeace had illegally boarded the multipurpose icebreakers Fennica and Nordica operated by the state-owned company Arctia Shipping under contract to the Royal Dutch Shell.[11] Hautala's office had recommended that the company withdraw its criminal complaint against Greenpeace, and threatened to fire the management in case that they disobliged.[12][13] When Iltalehti first broke the story, Hautala initially had a different account of the events, denying that her office had pressured the company.[13] Before her resignation, Hautala had also recently made comments in an open support of Greenpeace activists detained in Russia under piracy charges, criticising Russia of "disproportionately tough measures" against the members of the NGO.[14][15]

Arctia Shipping boss gave €12,500 to the board chairman sport club in five years. In a state company this is state funds.[16][17]


She has a master's degree in horticulture.

Criticism of Vladimir Putin[edit]

So when Heidi Hautala, a Green MP and former environment minister [sic], blasted declining democratic standards in Vladimir Putin's Russia, the sense of shock in Helsinki was palpable. .... The nervous reaction to Ms Hautala's remarks has provided a faint echo of the self-censorship of the Soviet era, when the term "Finlandisation" was coined to describe countries that quietly tailored their politics and policies to suit Moscow. "The mindset has not totally changed. It's still there in the back of our heads," said Lasse Lehtinen, a Finnish MEP. Ms Hautala's worries were well founded, he added. "There is a general, growing feeling of unease about Russia for the past two years or so. We don't say it, but we think it."
— The Guardian article: "Putin's shadow falls over Finland"[18]

In 2008, she published the book "Venäjä-teesit. Vakaus vai vapaus" about Russia.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

  • In 2013, Hautala was reported to be dating Russian film director Andrei Nekrasov, a member of Boris Berezovsky's "London Circle"[19] and a vocal critic of Putin.
  • Hautala has a son from a previous relationship.

Books written[edit]

  • Hautala, Heidi (2008). Venäjä-teesit - Vakaus vai vapaus? (in Finnish). Tammi. ISBN 978-9-51-314245-2. 


  1. ^ "Human Rights". European Parliament. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.hs.fi/politiikka/Valtion+laivayhti%C3%B6n+toimitusjohtajaa+uhattiin+erottamisella+/a1305730105877
  3. ^ "International Conference "Crimes of the Communist Regimes"". Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "About Us – Reconciliation of European Histories Group". Reconciliation of European Histories Group. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Profile at gef.eu
  6. ^ "Hallintoneuvosto" (in Finnish). Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  7. ^ http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp01/aff/cp0163en.htm
  8. ^ "Minister "sorry" for hiring "off-book" labour". YLE News. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hautala vows to continue as minister". Finland Times. STT. 20 March 2013. 
  10. ^ http://www.caucasianco.com/12.html
  11. ^ "Russia denies bail to British Greenpeace activists on piracy charges". The Telegraph. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hautala steps down over Greenpeace furore". YLE News. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Timonen admits threatening icebreaker bosses". YLE News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Greenpeace scandal forces Finnish minister's resignation". Russia Today. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Minister suspected of behind-the-scenes intervention for Greenpeace". YLE News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Arctia Shipping boss out in the cold after sponsorship scandal yle 24.10.2013
  17. ^ Professori: Arctia Shippingin sponsoripäätökset ovat huonoa yrityskulttuuria yle 24.10.2013
  18. ^ Tisdall, Simon (15 June 2006). "Putin's shadow falls over Finland". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Täältä alkoi Hautalan piina". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kalle Könkkölä
Chairperson of the Green League
Succeeded by
Pekka Sauri