Could you explain to our readers when you decided to become a politician?
The reason why I became a politician is more like a coincidence. I was a radio reporter in Lapland and in 1990 Centre Party asked me to run for an MP.

Did you have strong political beliefs during your youth?
In my youth I did have strong political beliefs partly because my home was politically aware.

Was the choice of becoming a “full time politician” difficult to make?
The choice was easy because it was more like a coincidence and I indeed got elected in 1995.
The decision was not that difficult, though I had to think of the consequences of becoming a full time politician and especially the affects to my family.

If you had to describe your political convictions with 5 words…
Basic Christian values

How could you present the Finnish Centre Party to our readers who don’t know it?
Centre Party is the largest party in our Finnish parliament and therefore also the leading parliamentary party. Centre Party is the party of the provinces. Centre Party is strongest in rural areas around Finland.

As a member of the Parliament, what will be your priorities for the near future?
At the moment the most important question is the new constitutional law of the EU. The importance for me is that small and unallied member countries as Finland are noticed when the constititution is made.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a politician?
The positive aspects would be that I can be part of the resolution process. The negative aspect would be that in public the truth about politicians and about what they do is often twisted.

Do you consider it as a profession or is it more than that?
Yes, this profession is definitely more than an occupation. This is more like a vocation because it is 24 hour job.

If you had the possibility to totally change your profession. What would you choose?
I would consider humanitarian aid or missionary work because it is important for me.

Why do you think that in Europe people become less and less interested in politics?
In Europe it is the result of that inside European Union an elite has formed and it is taking distance from common citizens. Also it is considered that influencing to political decisions is difficult.

What should be done to change this situation?
The work for democracy has to be done more increasingly in national parliaments and in the European Parliament. Also the correct information towards citizens is very important.

What are your professional or personal projects for the future?
In addition to being a MP I have started to write my doctoral thesis in pedagogics. I think there is enough challenge for me.