Ville Matti Niinistö (born 30 July 1976) is a Finnish politician who has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since 2019. He is a former member of parliament, former chairperson of the Green League and served as Minister of the Environment from 2011 to 2014, and a member of the city council of Turku.
|Member of the European Parliament|
|Assumed office |
|Minister of the Environment|
22 June 2011 – 25 September 2014
|Prime Minister||Jyrki Katainen|
|Preceded by||Paula Lehtomäki|
|Succeeded by||Sanni Grahn-Laasonen|
|Chairman of the Green League|
11 June 2011 – 17 June 2017
|Preceded by||Anni Sinnemäki|
|Succeeded by||Touko Aalto|
|Member of the Finnish Parliament|
for Finland Proper
18 March 2007 – 16 April 2019
|Born||30 July 1976|
|Political party||Green League|
(m. 2004; div. 2012)
|Relatives||Sauli Niinistö (uncle)|
|Alma mater||University of Turku|
Early life and educationEdit
Niinistö has a master's degree in political science from the University of Turku. Before being elected to the parliament in 2007 he worked as a doctorate student in political history (Finnish foreign policy) at the University of Turku in Finland.
Niinistö first became a member of the Finnish Parliament in the 2007 elections.
From 2011 until 2014, Niinistö served as Minister of the Environment in the governments of successive Prime Ministers Jyrki Katainen and Alexander Stubb. During his time in office, Niinistö reignited a long-running debate about Finland’s relationship with Russia in 2014 by saying his own government’s decision to approve a Russian-built nuclear reactor invoked “ a sense of Finlandization”. Shortly after, he quit in protest at the project, accusing the government of favouring Russia. As a consequence, his Green League equally quit the five-party Finnish coalition government.
By 2017 Green League party congress, Niinistö had served two full terms as the chairman and stepped down according to the rules of the party. He was followed by MP Touko Aalto, who won the leadership election on 17 June 2017. In October 2018, Niinistö announced that he would not seek another term in the parliament in the 2019 election.
Niinistö is the nephew of Sauli Niinistö, the president of Finland. He was married to Maria Wetterstrand, former spokesperson of the Swedish Green Party; they separated in 2012. They have a son, Elias, who was born in 2004, and a daughter, Linnea, born 2007. In his free time Niinistö enjoys reading, role-playing games, and football.
In 2013 it was revealed that he drove his Swedish wife's car with Swedish number plates in Finland, while she was absent. The Finnish tax office imposed a €4800 fine on him because of car tax evasion.
- Anne Kauranen (May 27, 2019), 'The Groke' turns Finland's EU election night into World Cup hockey party Reuters.
- Richard Milne (September 24, 2014), ‘Finlandisation’ makes a polarising comeback in Finland Financial Times.
- David Crouch and Peter Spiegel (September 29, 2014), Row deepens over Finland’s nuclear plant Financial Times.
- Cynthia Kroet (September 18, 2014), Greens quit Finnish government in nuclear row European Voice.
- "Touko Aalto vihreiden puheenjohtajaksi" (in Finnish). Vihreät. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- "Ville Niinistö ei pyri vihreiden puheenjohtajaksi, jättää eduskunnan keväällä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
- Finnvera’s Annual General Meeting: New members appointed to Board of Directors and Supervisory Board Finnvera, press release of March 29, 2019.
- Kangasniemi, Sanna (20 February 2009). "Äiti ja isä vihreä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Ville Niinistölle 4800 euron autovero - tulli lopetti veropetostutkinnan". Yle Uutiset.