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Aberdeen expert on Scandinavia to receive Finland’s highest accolade

Date: January 31,  2001
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The UK’s leading expert on the government and politics of the Scandinavian countries will be presented with a highly prestigious award conferred by the Finnish president at a ceremony later this week.

Professor David Arter, of the University of Aberdeen, will be made a Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland in recognition of his services to Finland.

Awarded by Tarja Halonen, who was elected the country’s first female president last February, the presentation will be made at a special luncheon at the Finnish Embassy in London on Friday, February 2, to be hosted by Pertti Salolainen, the Finnish ambassador. Ambassador Salolainen was Minister of Foreign Trade when Finland joined the EU in 1995.

The Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose is a very prestigious accolade and is typically awarded to Finnish MPs, senior Finnish academics and leading industrialists.

Professor Arter, who is presently comparing parliamentary practice in Scotland and Scandinavia, expressed his delight on hearing the news of the award.

“It is a surprise and great honour. I have watched Finland grow to become one of the most consensual democracies in Europe today and a paragon of ‘new politics’. There are lessons to be learnt in Scotland.”

Professor Arter is recognised as the leading UK expert on the government and politics of the Scandinavian countries and has written countless academic articles, chapters and books on contemporary Finland. He is a regular broadcaster on Finland and contributes material on the country to The Economist. He was Deputy Chair of the Executive Committee of the Finnish Institute in London for eight years, and is a member of the Board of Politiikka, the journal of the Finnish Political Science Association (the only non-Finn). He was the organiser of a major conference on 'Finland's EU Presidency' in London in 1999, and was commissioned to translate a standard political history of Finland by the Finnish foreign ministry.

Professor Arter was appointed Director of the Nordic Policy Studies Centre, based in the University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, which he helped set up in 1996. The launch of the initiative was marked by a series of prestigious lectures given by leading diplomats, politicians and academics from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen delivered the first lecture when he officially opened the Centre.


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