The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the University of Helsinki announce a new initiative to support the strengthening of the rule of law in developing countries

Finland is strengthening its activities to support the rule of law activities in developing countries. Supporting democracy and the rule of law is a key goal of the Government programme and of the development policy of Finland. In recent years the rule of law has considerably weakened in different parts the world. The rule of law is subjected to increasing challenges that are exacerbated further by the COVID-19 pandemic. Work to promote and strengthen the rule of law is increasingly important.

On Monday, 8 March 2021, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari, and the Rector of the University of Helsinki, Sari Lindblom, signed a cooperation agreement to establish the Rule of Law Centre.

“Finland is a strong state governed by the rule of law. Interest in our know-how is growing abroad and we want to offer solutions. Promoting the principle of the rule of law and fostering democracy also play a key role in our foreign and security policy, and in our development policy. The Rule of Law Centre, established today with the University of Helsinki, will create a valuable network domestically, and as a central messenger abroad for Finland’s strengths,” says Minister Skinnari.

The aim of the Rule of Law Centre, which operates within the University of Helsinki, is to support developing countries in creating and reinforcing the foundation of the rule of law; in developing the capacity of the rule of law institutions; and in strengthening legislation by providing expertise, training and other support. The activities of the Centre are financed from development cooperation funds. The Rule of Law Centre brings together experts on the rule of law in Finnish society and supports their networking.

“As part of the University of Helsinki, the Rule of Law Centre also promotes research and teaching on issues related to the rule of law for the needs of developing countries. Empowered by science, the University of Helsinki wants to work for the good of the world, and the Rule of Law Centre is the best way to support this objective,” Rector Lindblom says.


Ministry for Foreign Affairs

  • Kirsi Airio, Special Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 1729
  • Laura Torvinen, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 350 771
  • The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format

University of Helsinki