Heidi Hautala

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Heidi Hautala

Heidi Hautala IF MOW 04-2011.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
1 July 2014
In office
14 July 2009 – 21 June 2011
In office
1 January 1995 – 25 March 2003
Minister for International Development
In office
22 June 2011 – 16 October 2013
Prime MinisterJyrki Katainen
Preceded byPaavo Väyrynen
Succeeded byPekka Haavisto
Chair of the Finnish Green Party
In office
1 March 1987 – 19 May 1991
Preceded byKalle Könkkölä
Succeeded byPekka Sauri
Member of the Finnish Parliament
In office
16 March 2003 – 14 July 2009
In office
5 March 1991 – 19 March 1995
ConstituencyCentral Finland
Personal details
Heidi Anneli Hautala

(1955-11-14) 14 November 1955 (age 63)
Oulu, Finland
Political party Finnish
Green League
European Green Party
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki

Heidi Anneli Hautala (born 14 November 1955) is a Finnish politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Finland. She is a member of the Green League, part of the European Green Party.

She is currently a Member of the European Parliament for the third time. Previously she held the post from 1995 to 2003 and 2009 to 2011 when 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.

Early life and education[edit]

Hautala was born in the northern Finnish city of Oulu in 1955. Her father was a high-ranking war-hero who later went on to become one of the region’s most powerful bankers.[2]

Hautala holds a master's degree in horticulture. She speaks Finnish, English, Swedish, German, French and some Russian.[3]

Political career[edit]

Beginnings in national politics[edit]

Hautala was the leader of the Finnish Green Party from 1987 to 1991, and a presidential candidate in 2000 and 2006. She was a member of the national parliament from 1991 to 1995.

Member of the European Parliament, 1995–2003[edit]

After Finland joined the European Union (EU) in 1995, Hautala was elected to the European Parliament. Between 1998 and 1999, she served as chair of the Committee on Women's Rights. She later led the Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2002, alongside Paul Lannoye.[4]

After less than two years on the assembly’s influential environment committee, Hautala was chosen to steer a highly sensitive proposal for a Fuel Quality Directive through the parliament.[2]

As a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs between 1999 and 2003, Hautala participated in the negotiations to increase openness in the EU.[5] In 2001, she 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.[6] In 2002, Hautala led a campaign for the European Parliament to set up a public register of members’ assistants.[7]

Between 2002 and 2003, Hautala was the president of the European Parliament Intergroup on Public Health.

Member of the Finnish Parliament, 2003–2009[edit]

Hautala returned to the national Parliament in the elections of 2003.

Hautala was the chair of the Administrative Council of Neste Oil,[8] 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 chaired the Green parliamentary group and was the Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee in the Finnish Parliament. Also she was a member of the Parliament's Speaker's Council, as well as the chair of the National Equality Commission (TANE). She advocates environmental responsibility, openness in politics, and global justice.[citation needed]

In the first round of the 2006 election, Hautala finished fourth of the eight candidates with a vote share of 3.5% (105,248 votes).

Member of the European Parliament, 2009–2011[edit]

In 2009, Hautala was re-elected to the European Parliament, where she served as chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and as member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Hautal became well-known for promoting transparency in the EU after winning the case against the Council on access to documents on arm trade.,[9] known as the Hautala Case T-14/98.

Hautala is a signatory of the 2010 Declaration on Crimes of Communism, a patron of its preceding conference,[10] and was a member of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group as an MEP.[11]

Minister of international development and state ownership steering 2011-2013[edit]

Hautala was nominated the minister of international development and state ownership to Jyrki Katainen's government in 2011. In 2013 it emerged Hautala had hired cleaning lady and repair work without taking care of the employer payments. She agreed to pay the contributions and apologised for her actions, and resigned from the ministerial working group against the informal economy.[12][13] Later, she promoted Palkkaus.fi service that was inspired by her making it easy for private employers to handle all the employer payments through a website.

Arctic Shipping case and resignation[edit]

Hautala resigned from her development and state ownership steering minister position in October 2013 amidst of allegations of abuse of power. She stated that she could no longer work as a minister, because she had been inaccurate and remembered things incorrectly. 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.

In a protest against Arctic ice drilling a year earlier, members of Greenpeace illegally boarded the multipurpose icebreakers Fennica and Nordica operated by the state-owned company Arctia Shipping under contract to the Royal Dutch Shell.[14] 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.[15][16] When Iltalehti first broke the story, Hautala initially had a different account of the events, denying that her office had pressured the company.[16][17]

Hautala had also 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.[18][19]

In February 2014 the Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka stated, that nor Hautala nor the head of the state ownership steering unit of the government acted unlawfully when preventing the filing criminal charges a case against Greenpeace.[20]

Later, former activists of the Finnish Seafarer's Union admitted they started the Arctia Shipping case with the help of Finns Party's Matti Putkonen.[21] Hautala considered having been a target of the union activists because of lay offs due to sectoral reforms.[22]

Member of the European Parliament, 2014–present[edit]

Hautala returned to the European Parliament following the 2014 elections. She has since been a member of the Committee on Development and Committee on Legal Affairs. She also serves as vice-chair of the Greens–European Free Alliance, under the leadership of Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts. She is a co-president of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, and the chair of European Parliament delegation to the Euronest.

In addition to her committee assignment, Hautala serves as co-chair of the Working group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, and Development in the European Parliament. She is also a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Western Sahara[23] and the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.[24]

In 2016, Hautala was appointed by Erik Solheim, the Chairman of the Development Assistance Committee, to serve on the High Level Panel on the Future of the Development Assistance Committee under the leadership of Mary Robinson.[25]

In October 2017, Hautala was appointed as the Vice President of the European Parliament until summer 2019, becoming the third Finn to hold the position.[26] In this capacity, she is also a member of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG), which oversees the Parliament’s election observation missions.

Other activities[edit]

Hautala – alongside Roswitha Fessler-Ketteler, Vytautas Landsbergis, Aleksi Malmberg and Frank Schwalba-Hoth – has been serving on the advisory board of the Caucasian Chamber Orchestra association and its German "Förderverein".[28]

Political positions[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", 2011[29]

In 2008, Hautala published the book "Venäjä-teesit. Vakaus vai vapaus" about Russia.[citation needed] In 2015, news media reported that she was included in a Russian blacklist of prominent people from the European Union who are not allowed to enter the country.[30][31]

Personal life[edit]

Hautala has a son from her relationship with a Finnish artist J. O. Mallander. Hautala has also been in a relationship with a German researcher Carlo Jordan, and dated Russian film director Andrei Nekrasov, a vocal critic of Putin.

Hautala introduced Nekrasov to Bill Browder, whose interview excerpts were used in Nekrasov's film The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes.[32]

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. ^ a b Green guru European Voice, September 29, 1999.
  3. ^ Gary Peach (April 30, 2013), Ambitious activist European Voice.
  4. ^ Hautala lost post over reform pace European Voice, December 5, 2001.
  5. ^ Barry James (August 26, 2000), Political Uproar Expected Over New EU Secrecy Code International Herald Tribune.
  6. ^ "Curia - CP0163EN". Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  7. ^ Martin Banks (November 6, 2002), New call for assistants’ register European Voice.
  8. ^ "Hallintoneuvosto" (in Finnish). Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Court rules against the Council in "Hautala case" on access to documents". EurActiv.com. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  10. ^ "International Conference "Crimes of the Communist Regimes"". Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  11. ^ "About Us – Reconciliation of European Histories Group". Reconciliation of European Histories Group. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Minister "sorry" for hiring "off-book" labour". YLE News. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Hautala vows to continue as minister". Finland Times. STT. 20 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Russia denies bail to British Greenpeace activists on piracy charges". The Telegraph. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Hautala steps down over Greenpeace furore". YLE News. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Timonen admits threatening icebreaker bosses". YLE News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Valtion laivayhtiön toimitusjohtajaa uhattiin erottamisella". HS.fi. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Greenpeace scandal forces Finnish minister's resignation". Russia Today. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Minister suspected of behind-the-scenes intervention for Greenpeace". YLE News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  20. ^ "11.02.2014 OKV/1601/1/2013, OKV/1603/1/2013, OKV/1605-1612/2013, OKV/1624/1/2013, OKV/1630/1/2013, OKV/1632/1/2013, OKV/1643/1/2013, OKV/1665/1/2013, OKV/1668/1/2013, OKV/1726/1/2013, OKV/1749/1/2013 ja OKV/1933/1/2013 - Valtioneuvoston oikeuskanslerin tietokanta - FINLEX ®". Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Hautala-gate: Ay-konkarit käyttivät Matti Putkosta viestinviejänä". Yle Uutiset. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Heidi Hautala: Olin ay-liikkeen sylkykuppi". HS.fi. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  23. ^ Members European Parliament Intergroup on Western Sahara.
  24. ^ Members European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.
  25. ^ High Level Panel on the Future of the Development Assistance Committee Development Assistance Committee.
  26. ^ Heidi Hautala valittiin europarlamentin varapuhemieheksi Yle.
  27. ^ "Board of Directors - Green European Foundation".
  28. ^ e.K., Fa. Solis Musikverlag & Produktion. "advisory board - Causasian Chamber Orchestra". www.caucasianco.com.
  29. ^ Tisdall, Simon (15 June 2006). "Putin's shadow falls over Finland". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  30. ^ Laurence Norman (May 30, 2015), Russia Produces Blacklist of EU People Banned From Entering Country Wall Street Journal.
  31. ^ European Union anger at Russian travel blacklist BBC News, May 31, 2015.
  32. ^ http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/06/16/russias-plot-to-smear-magnitsky/ (William Browder interview)

External links[edit]

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