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Rural Parliament 2017 shapes the future
Rural Super Weekend invites you to discuss and make an impact

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 28.6.2017 14.47 | Published in English on 28.6.2017 at 20.40
News item

The Rural Parliament in Leppävirta, Finland on 1–3 September 2017 is a true super weekend for rural issues. We will boldly tackle critical rural issues of today and the future and bring them onto the daily political agenda, present fabulous stories of success and encourage to new ones, and promote contacts between rural actors, decision-makers and the media.

The programme of the first Rural Parliament of this scale in Finland is indeed varied: 19 interesting excursions, 36 workshops and seminars, four great discussions on the main stage, and the Partners’ Square as well as Farmers’ market. The programme offers up-to-date information about rural affairs, good tools and new contacts, as well as flows of new ideas for better implementation and utilisation of rural opportunities - locally, regionally and nationally. The event is to be concluded by the publication of a national Rural Policy Declaration.

The Rural Parliament 2017 will be opened by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä, who is also responsible for the rural affairs. The participants to the discussions on topical issues include Elli Aaltonen, Director-General of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland KELA, Jari Koskinen, Director-General of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Hilkka Vihinen, Professor of Rural Policy at the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Jyri Kataja-Rahko, Head of Regional Operations at YLY Radio, Miko Heinilä, founding partner of Kyrö Distillery Company, internationally renowned photographer Tiina Törmänen, and columnist Tuomas Enbuske.

Excursions to the surprisingly varied countryside

The excursions organized during the Rural Parliament show a Finnish countryside that may take you by surprise. The trip is organized in English and it offers visits to the National Park, Suonenjoki Art Gallery and introduction to the Reception Centre for the refugee children.

The workshops and seminars offer a broad range of interesting topics. Four workshops are held in English and four in Swedish. The English-speaking workshops pertain to the following questions: How can you use storytelling methods for rural or local development? Is there an opportunity to be found both for rural areas and the newly arrived? Do you have a brilliant idea on how to develop your area, and would need a companion to do it? How can place-based policy be used in place-based development? Join us and at the first Finnish Rural Parliament and find the answers to these questions.

The Rural Parliament 2017 is part of Finland’s 100th centenary programme.

Welcome to participate, be inspired and influence - for making better use of the rural opportunities and for the benefit of the whole of Finland!

More information: 

The responsible organisations nationally are the Rural Policy Committee and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.


  • Christell Åström, Hostess, Rural Policy Council, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry,, +358 295 16 2030 
  • Antonia Husberg, Producer, Rural Policy Council, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry,, +358 295 16 2033

Arrangements locally (including excursions)

  • Merja Kaija, Village Ombudsman, North Savo Villages,
  • Seija Heiskanen, Coordinator, Leppävirta municipality,
Animals and plants Bioeconomy Food and agriculture Forests Rural areas Water