|Chairperson of the party council||Silja Keränen|
|Founded||28 February 1987|
|Headquarters||Fredrikinkatu 33, Helsinki|
|Youth wing||Vihreät Nuoret|
|Women's wing||Vihreät naiset|
|Political position||Centre to centre-left|
|European affiliation||European Green Party|
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|European Parliament group|
|Nordic affiliation||Centre Group|
|Slogan||Neljän vuodenajan puolesta (For the four seasons)|
The Green League (VIHR, Finnish: Vihreä liitto, Swedish: Gröna förbundet), shortened to the Greens, is a green political party in Finland. The Green League is among the largest political parties in Finland. The Greens hold twenty seats in the Finnish Parliament and two in the European Parliament. The party is a member of the Global Greens and the European Green Party, while their MEPs, Heidi Hautala and Ville Niinistö sit with The Greens-European Free Alliance in the European Parliament. Originally split on whether Finland should join the European Union, the Green League is pro-European and was the first Finnish party in favor of the federalisation of the European Union.
Founded in 1987, the party absorbed a number of green organisations and their members, including four MPs elected in 1987. The party won ten seats in the 1991 election. Despite small losses in the in 1995 election, Pekka Haavisto joined Paavo Lipponen's first cabinet, which was composed of a rainbow coalition. This made the Green League the first green party to form part of a national cabinet. The party remained in government until 2002, when it resigned in opposition to nuclear power. The party slowly rose in popularity between 1995 and 2007, when winning a total of 15 seats, and joined the centre-right-led government. In the 2011 election, the party suffered significant losses, falling to ten seats, but remained in government. In 2015, the party recovered its losses from 2011, returning to 15 seats. In the 2019 election, the party achieved by far its best ever result, winning 20 seats and 11.5% of the vote. They became the fifth largest party and became the third largest member of the Social Democratic-led government.
Since June 2019, the party's leader and chairman has been Maria Ohisalo. From 2015 to 2019, the party was in opposition, and provided vast criticism regarding the actions of the incumbent right-wing Sipilä Cabinet such as financial support for economically well-off companies, Fortum's purchase of Uniper, and the expedited process of constitution-changing surveillance laws.
The Green League was founded 28 February 1987, and was registered as a political party the next year. Political activity had begun already in the early 1980s, when environmental activists, feminists, disillusioned young politicians from the marginalized Liberal People's Party and other active groups began to campaign on green issues in Finland. In 1995, it was the first European green party to be part of a state-level cabinet.
The party was founded as a popular movement, which explains its name's descriptor liitto, "league". Initially, there was much resistance within the movement against the founding of a political party, motivated by Robert Michels' iron law of oligarchy, which claims that movements inevitably degenerate into oligarchies when they create a formal organization. The party still especially stresses openness and democratic decision-making. Even though liitto has been dropped from the party's website and advertisements, the word still remains in the official name.
The first two parliamentary representatives were elected even before the registration, in the 1983 parliamentary election. These were the first independent representatives in the Finnish Parliament. In 1987 the number of seats rose to four, and in 1991 to ten.
About half of the party's members were against Finland joining the European Union in 1994. Later, polls showed that most Greens were anti-Eurozone. The party heads declined to fight against euro adoption.
In the 1995 election, the Green League received a total of nine seats out of 200. The party joined the coalition cabinet led by the Social Democrats, and Pekka Haavisto became the Minister of the Environment, thus becoming the first green minister in Europe.
The Green League received 7.3% of the vote, and gained two additional seats in the 1999 election, raising the total to 11. The Greens continued in the next coalition cabinet, but resigned in protest on 26 May 2002, after the cabinet's decision to allow the construction of a new nuclear plant was accepted by Parliament.
In 2003, the Green League received 8.0% of the vote, receiving a total of 14 seats. They increased their seats to 15 in the 2007 election, while receiving 8.5% of the vote. In the 2011 election, the party lost five seats.
At the municipal level, the Greens are an important player in the largest cities of Finland. In the municipal election of 2008 the Greens received 8.9% of the vote; the vote share was considerably higher in Helsinki, where the Greens became the second largest party with 23.2% of the vote. In several other cities, the Greens achieved the position of the third largest party. Its weak spot is the rural countryside, particularly in those municipalities experiencing strong outward migration.
A 2012 study indicated that the Greens are the most popular party among journalists.
By 2017 Green League party congress, Niinistö had served three full two-year terms as the chairman and stepped down according to the rules of the party. In the following leadership election, there were six candidates running for party chair, of whom MP Touko Aalto won the election.
Soon after Aalto's election, the popularity of the Green League surged in the polls and raised briefly as the second most popular party in the country. However, in September 2017 the poll numbers turned into a downward slope, which continued until autumn 2018. After taking a month of sick leave due to exhaustion in September 2018, Aalto soon announced that he was resigning from his post, citing depression and fatigue.
In November 2018, the Green League decided to choose a temporary chairman to lead the party into the 2019 parliamentary elections and until the next party convention. In the leadership election, former chairman Pekka Haavisto was once again elected as chairman.
The Green League is no longer a protest party, nor an alternative movement. Some Green candidates reject classifying the party as either left-wing or right-wing. Economic opinions of the members range between left and right. However, members of the party on average place their party left of the Social Democrats and right of the Left Alliance. In comparison with some other European green parties, Finland's Greens are noticeably more pro-European and centrist.
The party is one of the strongest proponents for same-sex marriage. The party is also distinct in its opposition against universal male conscription and wants to opt for a gender-neutral, selective version. The eventual goal of the Greens is voluntary military service.
|2011||213,172||7.25%||5||Coalition government (2011-2014)|
|Year||Councillors||Votes||Share of votes|
|Election year||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall seats won||+/-||Notes|
Parliamentarian and then-former MEP Heidi Hautala was a candidate in the presidential elections in 2000 and 2006, taking approximately a 3.5% share of votes in the first round in each. Pekka Haavisto was the first Green candidate in the 2012 election to enter the second round. Haavisto got an 18.8% share of votes in the first round, and lost to centre-right Sauli Niinistö in the second round held on 5 February.
|Election year||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
|# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall votes||% of overall vote|
|2000||Heidi Hautala||100,740||3.3 (#5)|
|2006||Heidi Hautala||105,248||3.5 (#4)|
|2012||Pekka Haavisto||574,275||18.8 (#2)||1,077,425||37.4 (#2)|
|2018||Pekka Haavisto||370,823||12.4 (#2)|
Since 2019, the Green League has been represented by two MEPs in the European Parliament.