Members of Parliament are active in many societal networks. Examples of this include the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members TUTKAS, which engages in cooperation with academia, and the Arkadia Culture Society, which focuses on the artistic community. In addition, female MPs participate in the Network of Finnish Women Members of Parliament that concentrates on equality issues and promotes the female viewpoint in decision-making.
MPs also participate in friendship societies, which engage in activities with people and MPs from other countries and their legislative assemblies. Cooperation groups are involved in both national and global issues; examples include Parliament's Human Rights Group, the Habitat Group and the Population Group.
The Society of Scientists and Parliament Members TUTKAS was established in 1970. It aims to establish positive connections between MPs and researchers that enable the exchange of information as well as to promote the critical examination of planning, decision-making and result utilisation in relation to science. The membership of TUTKAS consists of almost 600 researchers and the 200 Members of Parliament.About once a month, TUTKAS arranges a seminar to which all of its members are invited. People who have completed an academic degree and work in research are eligible for membership. TUTKAS is chaired by MP Sanna Lauslahti and its deputy chair is Ilkka Ruostetsaari from the University of Tampere.
The goal of Parliament's Arkadia Culture Society is to establish a positive environment for interaction between parliamentarians and cultural life as well as to promote Finland's cultural sector, culture-policy debate and a broad-reaching understanding of culture among the society's membership. In addition the MPs, Arkadia Culture Society's members include more than 200 influential people from the fields of culture and the arts. Left Alliance MP Eila Tiainen serves as its chair.
The female members of Parliament form a network that acts as a forum in which they can discuss political issues that affect women in particular irrespective of party lines. The network is coordinated by the Employment and Equality Committee.The network acts to realise equality between men and women, promotes women's rights and introduces a female perspective to legislative work. In addition, it organises seminars and meetings, sends representatives to attend international conferences dealing with equality and women's rights as well as engages in cooperation with female MPs from other countries.The network was established in 1991. That year, 77 women were elected to Parliament. This was a record number for the time. At present, 84 female MPs serve in the Eduskunta.
Parliament has around sixty friendship and cooperation groups established by MPs. The purpose of friendship groups is to maintain ties with parliaments in other countries and regions and to learn more about their cultures and social systems. Friendship groups supplement Parliament's official international relations.
The Finnish Parliament Network on Human Rights and the Finnish Parliament Group for Global Issues are examples of cooperation groups.
Network of Women Parlamentarians, Tutkas and Arkadia:Ulla Hirvonen +358 9 432 2429, +358 50 574 1068ulla.hirvonen(at)parliament.fi
Friendship groups:International Department 00102 EDUSKUNTAFinland+358 9 4321 (switchboard)int.dep(at)parliament.fi