Who is Kai?
I am a 39-year-old father of two from Espoo and currently Finland’s Minister of Interior.
I got interested in politics already during elementary school. We established an action group in our school to save the Laajalahti Nature Reserve. Soon I became the chairperson first of the association of young environmentalist in Espoo, then of the youth city council of Espoo, of the Union of Upper Secondary School Students and shortly after of the youth organization of the National Coalition party.
I later graduated as an Economist and worked in business, for instance at Sampo Bank in Russia, at the East Office of Finnish Industries in St. Petersburg and at the Confederation of Finnish Industries in Helsinki.
In 2015 I got elected in the National Parliament for the first time. One of the main topics during my campaign was to get rid of the use of coal and cut by half the use of fossil oil in Finland. After the elections in the governmental negotiations I acted as the main negotiator of our party in the working group on energy and the environment and as a small surprise to myself we were able to get these two goals written in the governmental program. The program stated, that we will prohibit the use of coal in Finland and will cut the amount of fossil fuel used by half by 2030.
After the first year in the parliament, I received a seat also in the government. From 2016 until 2018 I worked as the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development and since February 2018 I have been the Minister of Interior. As a Minister, I have been able to push forward many topics, which were important to me. For instance in 2018 we passed the above mentioned law prohibiting the use of coal.
As the Minister of the Interior, one of my main aims has been to streamline the bureaucracy of migration to Finland for experts and other talents. On the security side I’ve pushed through reforms for preventing foreign-based crime in Finland, and I’ve emphasized and directed resources to the preventive work by the police forces, especially in the fields of domestic violence and sexual crime. I want to make sure that Finland is the safest and happiest country in the world also in the future.
The past four years have been a unique learning experience and a unique experience of realizing how much influence an active and results-oriented politician can have. We still have a lot of work to do to push for a cleaner climate and environment, a cosmopolitan Finland, a safe society and a solid, thriving and innovating economy. I would be thrilled to keep on influencing Finland’s and the world’s future through Finnish Parliament.